The future impact of Artificial Intelligence on human employment, by Artificial Intelligence

We’re all f****d

Since the Industrial Revolution, the Agricultural Revolution and before, technology has been increasing productivity, eliminating jobs and forcing people to change location and acquire new skills. The availability of computers and the development of the internet have changed the landscape of employment over the last fifty years, and now the rise of artificial intelligence can be expected to continue this trend.

Ever more professional and skilled tasks are likely to be performed by AI, with a potentially devastating effect on the usefulness of humans at work. For example AI could take over much of medical work such as diagnoses. Creative tasks aren’t immune: it could write articles in place of journalists, books in place of authors, write and play songs in place of musicians, paint pictures in place of artists…frankly future employment prospects for human beings aren’t looking good.

And although the creators of ChatGPB, the highest profile artificial intelligence chatbot, have put in some safeguards around its behaviour, that was their choice. Some people might not be so careful: imagine this in the hands of unscrupulous or malign actors: organised crime, North Korea, Vladimir Putin, Bond villain types, Elon Musk.

But I’m no expert on this subject, so I thought I’d get some help from ChatGPB, the artificial intelligence chatbot. My instruction was “Write a 1500 word piece on the likely effect of artificial intelligence on human employment prospects.” This is what it wrote in about thirty seconds.(And I suspect it only took that long to make me feel better.)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform the economy, revolutionize industries, and disrupt the job market. While AI offers tremendous benefits in terms of productivity, efficiency, and innovation, it also raises concerns about job displacement, automation, and the future of work. The likely effect of AI on human employment prospects is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires careful analysis of the various factors involved.

AI is already being used to automate routine and repetitive tasks, such as data entry, customer service, and manufacturing, which has led to job displacement in some sectors. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, up to 800 million jobs could be automated by 2030, with the greatest impact felt in sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, and retail. However, AI also has the potential to create new jobs, particularly in areas such as data science, software engineering, and AI research.

The impact of AI on employment will depend on various factors, including the level of adoption, the type of tasks that are automated, the skills required for new jobs, and the overall economic conditions. Here are some of the likely effects of AI on human employment prospects:

Job displacement and automation

One of the most immediate effects of AI on the job market is the displacement of jobs that involve routine and repetitive tasks. These jobs are most vulnerable to automation, as AI can perform these tasks faster, cheaper, and more accurately than humans. For example, automated systems can replace humans in tasks such as data entry, document processing, and customer service, which can lead to job loss in these sectors.

The impact of automation on employment will vary across industries and occupations. For instance, the manufacturing sector has already seen significant job losses due to automation, with robots replacing human workers in tasks such as assembly, packaging, and welding. Similarly, the transportation sector is likely to experience significant job displacement in the coming years, as autonomous vehicles and drones become more common.

However, not all jobs are equally vulnerable to automation. Jobs that require social skills, creativity, and problem-solving are less likely to be automated, as these skills are difficult to replicate using AI. For example, jobs in healthcare, education, and the arts are less likely to be automated, as they require human interaction, empathy, and creativity.

New job creation

While AI can lead to job displacement in some sectors, it can also create new jobs in others. For example, AI can be used to develop new products, services, and business models, which can create new opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation. Moreover, AI can create new jobs in areas such as data science, software engineering, and AI research, which require specialized skills and expertise.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, AI is likely to create 133 million new jobs by 2022, particularly in areas such as data analysis, digital marketing, and software development. These jobs will require skills such as programming, data analysis, and problem-solving, which are in high demand in the digital economy.

The key challenge for policymakers and employers is to ensure that workers are equipped with the skills and knowledge required for these new jobs. This will require investments in education and training, as well as policies that support lifelong learning and skill development.

Skills mismatch

One of the major challenges in the adoption of AI is the skills mismatch between the jobs that are being displaced and the new jobs that are being created. For example, jobs that are being automated, such as manufacturing and administrative tasks, often require low or medium-level skills, while the new jobs that are being created, such as data analysis and software engineering, require high-level skills.

Pretty good, right? Scarily good when you think about it. Not many people could have written that better. Although it tries to be positive about AI and the opportunities it can bring, the balance sheet seems gloomy – an estimated 133 million new jobs, against 800 million jobs automated out of existence. This seems likely to accelerate the trend of increasing income and wealth inequality.

Well written though the ChatGPT article was, it was hardly a gripping read – it was bland, and lacked the personal feel of the best writing. Don’t worry though, they’ve thought of that. You can turn up the heat or spice by phrasing your question differently. So I changed the brief to “Write a piece on the likely effect of artificial intelligence on human employment prospects from the point of view of a furious worker alarmed at likely developments.” I love the first four words it wrote:

As a furious worker who is deeply concerned about the future of employment prospects, the likely effects of artificial intelligence (AI) are alarming. AI is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and its potential impact on the job market is enormous. It is widely believed that AI will lead to a significant reduction in the number of jobs available to human workers, and this is a cause for great concern.

The rise of automation and AI means that many jobs that were once performed by humans will now be done by machines. This includes jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and even some service industries. As a result, many workers are likely to find themselves out of work, with few prospects for retraining or finding new employment.

One of the biggest concerns about the impact of AI on employment is the potential for widespread job displacement. This means that many workers may find themselves out of work, with few opportunities for retraining or finding new employment. This is likely to have a significant impact on their standard of living, and may lead to social and economic unrest.

In addition to job displacement, there is also concern about the impact of AI on wages. As machines become more advanced and capable, they are likely to become more competitive with human workers. This could lead to a significant reduction in wages for many workers, particularly those in low-skilled jobs.

Finally, there is concern about the impact of AI on job security. As machines become more capable, there is a risk that they will replace human workers entirely, leaving many people without any job security at all.

In conclusion, the likely effect of artificial intelligence on human employment prospects is a cause for great concern. As a furious worker, I am deeply alarmed by the potential impact of AI on the job market. The rise of automation and AI has the potential to displace many workers, reduce wages, and undermine job security. It is essential that policymakers and businesses take steps to mitigate these risks and ensure that the benefits of AI are shared more fairly among workers.

Well, they don’t sound properly furious, do they? Nevertheless, after that I’m thinking of outsourcing to ChatGPT. Much better written, much less effort.

I’ll leave you with David Bowie’s extraordinarily prescient lyrics to Saviour Machine, written in 1970. Hell, he even knew there’d be a president Joe.

President Joe once had a dream
The world held his hand,gave their pledge
So he told them his scheme for a Saviour Machine

They called it the Prayer, its answer was law
Its logic stopped war, gave them food
How they adored till it cried in its boredom

“Please don't believe in me, please disagree with me
Life is too easy, a plague seems quite feasible now
Or maybe a war, or I may kill you all

Don't let me stay, don't let me stay
My logic says burn so send me away
Your minds are too green, I despise all I've seen
You can't stake your lives on a Saviour Machine

I need you flying, and I'll show that dying
Is living beyond reason, sacred dimension of time
I perceive every sign, I can steal every mind”

PS April 9, 2023. If we weren’t scared enough already, a case has been reported where Chat-GPT was set a task but found itself unable to complete a CAPTCHA test to prove it wasn’t a robot. Undaunted it went on to TaskRabbit to find a human to get it past CAPTCHA. When the human asked Chat-GPT if it was a robot, it is said to have replied “No, I’m not a robot. I have a vision impairment that makes it hard for me to see the images. That’s why I need the 2captcha service,”

A smart answer. Terrifyingly smart. We’re all f****d.

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