You may have read that generative artificial intelligence – as in ChatGPT — has “already” directly resulted in job loss for a few people.
Let the panic begin? After all, further down in the article linked to above, is this quotation:
“The technology’s ability to churn out human-sounding prose puts highly paid knowledge workers in the crosshairs for replacement, experts said.”
Yet, thankfully, that may not happen.
We’re not kidding.
Or, as another expert quoted in the article put it,
“Think of AI as generally acting as a high-end intern,” he said. “Jobs that are mostly designed as entry-level jobs to break you into a field where you do something kind of useful, but it’s also sort of a stepping stone to the next level — those are the kinds of jobs under threat.”
Of course, we can’t predict the future (even AI can’t), yet many experts believe AI will enhance our jobs.
Of course, “certain roles are more vulnerable than others,” said one expert, “especially ones that are highly repetitive or based on very specific instructions or rules that lay out what needs to be done.”
In addition, disruption is inevitable. After all, look at what desktop computers did to the secretary job: no longer did a manager need someone to take dictation and write up a letter. Instead, the manager could do so him/herself, resulting in the massive loss of secretarial jobs.
However…how many administrative assistants do you know? These professionals now perform many tasks once associated with secretaries, yet at an extremely high level.
Or, as one opinion piece from a fan of AI has put it (long paragraph ahead):
“There are other reasons to be skeptical about grim forecasts regarding AI and employment. First, many past predictions about technologically induced unemployment were wrong because, as noted in a new R Street Institute report on the history of automation fears, we often lack the imagination to describe future jobs or worker skills. A review of old government labor market forecasts or economic papers finds no mention of today’s hottest jobs or skills. Glassdoor’s 2022 best jobs list includes job titles such as: full stack engineer, enterprise architect and machine learning engineer. These jobs would not have been comprehensible to analysts or economists in past decades.”
The opinion piece does admit that jobs will be lost, but that doesn’t mean government – nor business, nor workers – need to sit back and watch their worlds collapse:
“To better prepare the workforce of the future, policymakers can use a mix of policies to enhance STEM education, tax deductions for retraining, better online learning programs, technical recertification programs, portable benefits solutions and vocational apprenticeship models. It is equally important that lawmakers relax barriers to labor mobility and employment flexibility, especially occupational licensing rules.”
(And there’s nothing stopping any of us from contacting policymakers to get this conversation going….)
The bottom line, in our opinion, is that AI will mean big changes, but it needn’t mean millions of people will be out of work.
Just as with the advent of the desktop computer, positions will open up of which no one can yet conceive: there is the true possibility that better jobs – and better-paying ones – will open up to us.
Of course, that may—or may not – be in the future. What about now?
Here is how AI can impact our jobs now in positive and more fulfilling ways:
- Automation/efficiency. Mundane and repetitive tasks can be delegated to AI systems. This allows professionals to focus on more stimulating and strategic aspects of their work. Offloading routine tasks to AI can mean we can dedicate our efforts on high-value activities that require critical thinking and creativity.
- Improved decision-making. AI-powered algorithms have an unparalleled ability to analyze massive amounts of data and extract valuable insights. This can significantly – and positively – affect decision-making processes. We can leverage AI to access real-time data analysis and use it in optimizing code, developing marketing strategies, managing complex projects, and more.
- Augmented expertise. AI may not so much replace professionals as augment and complement their skills and expertise. AI can help professionals tap into vast repositories of knowledge, staying up-to-date with the latest developments in their field. AI-powered tools can act as intelligent assistants by suggesting solutions, providing recommendations, streamlining workflows and expanding their knowledge base.
Our clients NEED your skills! If you have some experience manipulating AI as a tool, all the better.
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