Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have the potential to revolutionize industries, but they also pose a threat to jobs—just maybe not the ones you think.
- AI can potentially increase automation in nearly every industry, from airlines to newspapers, causing some to worry about what jobs will be left.
- When discussing automation replacing jobs, blue-collar jobs like factory workers or truck drivers are often among the first listed, but so far, AI is headed for white-collar jobs.
- Just a week ago, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced that the digital media company will use the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT to write articles and formulate quizzes.
- Various airlines are considering using AI to prevent mistakes and potentially set airline prices—a job currently performed by human employees.
- Recently, ChatGPT has passed, or nearly passed, business, law, and medical exams. The bot could not answer some questions on the medical exam that required ChatGPT to give a diagnosis, as the AI appears to have been programmed not to provide actual diagnoses.
- Some pharmacies are looking to use AI to fill prescription requests in response to a growing pharmacist shortage.
- AI automation may one day be able to put together basic contracts and fulfill the functions of a paralegal, provide preliminary medical evaluations, direct efficient flight plans for planes, and fill prescriptions for customers.
Why it’s news
With its ability to generate human-like responses to a wide range of questions and tasks, ChatGPT can automate many white-collar jobs currently performed by human workers.
The chatbot can generate reports, analyze data, and write articles and emails, among other things, making it an increasingly popular tool in the business world. While some companies may use AI to automate monotonous tasks, some worry that it could push employees out of a job altogether.
Microsoft has announced a multi-billion-dollar investment into ChatGPT. An investment in new technology wouldn’t be that unusual, but Microsoft also recently announced thousands of employee layoffs. The tech company is trying to reduce costs but is willing to make an expensive investment in AI.
With that said, there’s no reason to panic about AI taking over all available jobs—at least not yet. AI still makes mistakes. ChatGPT, for instance, has been known to make errors, causing some to hesitate fully embracing the new tool. Schools across the country, including the New York City public school system, have banned ChatGPT, both out of fear of students using the bot to cheat and concerns about misinformation.
Currently, ChatGPT’s knowledge only extends to 2021, and users have found that it can often make mistakes. IT management company GitHub has compiled a list of reported errors the AI has made, such as incorrectly answering math questions.
Critics of AI usage have also pointed out that bias and prejudice can be trained into AI depending on how the bot is programmed.