• Fri. May 24th, 2024

Worker v bot: Humans are winning for now


Jun 6, 2023
Worker v bot: Humans are winning for now


In June of 2022, Google Trends reported that search interest in the term “Will AI take my job” registered at zero. In January of this year, interest had risen to 46, and by mid-May, search interest had rocketed to 70 (with 100 being the highest). That rise in interest looks set to continue.

So how did we go from no concerns around whether AI is a threat to our livelihoods, to being highly concerned? The finger can be firmly pointed at Open AI’s ChatGPT, a generative AI platform.

The prototype was launched to the public at the end of November 2022, and is a computer system capable of producing original and creative outputs, such as text or code. It has experienced unprecedented success.

For all of its popularity and ease of use, the rise of generative AI has also sparked widespread concerns. In May, Geoffrey Hinton, the “godfather of AI”, announced his resignation from Google, saying he now regretted some of his work.

Hinton also said that some of the dangers around AI chatbots were “quite scary” and pointed out that “right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.”

Growing concerns

That concern is echoed by last week’s Statement on AI Risk, issued by the Center for AI Safety. Signed by a group of top AI researchers, engineers and CEOs, the statement says that “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Ethical and legislative concerns aside, what the average worker wants to know is if they’ll still have a job in a few years’ time. It’s not a new concern: in fact, jobs are lost to technological advancements all the time. A century ago, most of the world’s population was employed in farming, for example.

Professional services company Accenture asserts that 40% of all working hours could be impacted by generative AI tools — primarily because language tasks already account for just under two thirds of the total time employees work.

In The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2023, jobs such as clerical or secretarial roles, including bank tellers and data entry clerks, are reported as likely to decline. Some legal roles, like paralegals and legal assistants, may also be affected, according to a recent Goldman Sachs report.

Traders, financial analysts and personal financial advisors could be impacted too, because tasks such as identifying market trends, can be effectively done by AI. Customer service roles are also increasingly being replaced by chatbots.

While chatbots can be helpful in automating customer service scenarios, not everyone is convinced. Sales-as-a-Service company Feel offers, among other services, actual live sales reps to chat with online shoppers.

Many feel that the role of current generative AI tools is less about replacing jobs, but to act as an assistant to workers. It can augment their capabilities and free up their time to focus on deeper work, for example. And according to a report from the European Parliament, AI has the potential to increase global GDP by up to $13 trillion by 2030, thanks to increased productivity and efficiency.

As for whether it will come for your own job, ChatGPT itself may say it best. When asked the question, the chatbot replies, “AI is not well-suited for tasks that require complex human interactions, creativity, empathy or critical thinking, which are areas where human workers excel”.

Sharpen your skills

If you’d like to sharpen your skills in the spirit of future-proofing your career, then the VentureBeat Jobs Board is a great place to start a fresh job hunt. Discover three open roles below.

At Kintsugi, a company with a mission to scale access to mental healthcare for all, there is a Tech Lead/Staff Software Engineer (Backend) remote job available. You will play an essential role in advancing access to mental health care through the implementation of state-of-the-art machine learning models and the development of a robust and regulated back-end infrastructure. A B.S. in computer Science or an equivalent quantitative field, plus five or more years’ developing production-quality applications and three or more years’ developing with Python is required to apply.

If you are a Full Stack Developer and Software Engineering Team Lead, Captain Compliance is seeking you out. In this role you will be responsible for managing a team of developers, leading software development projects, and acting as a scrum master to ensure the timely delivery of high-quality software. To apply, you should be able to write clean, maintainable, and well-documented code in a variety of languages, including but not limited to Java, Python, JavaScript, and SQL.

Or, discover this Chief Scientist role at Afiniti. This job will suit someone who is passionate about AI and mathematics, with a track record of launching outstanding AI products. You will lead and inspire a team of expert scientists while building the next generation of contact center technology. To be considered, you’ll need 10 or more years’ of experience leading teams or large projects with research experience in AI, machine learning, deep learning, analytics, optimization, IoT and automation.

If you’re reevaluating your career options or searching for a role that suits your life, visit the VentureBeat Jobs Board today

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *