AI – or Artificial Intelligence – has been something of a buzzword for the last decade. With vague promises of computers so powerful and smart they would begin to replace jobs all over the world. But these promises were yet to be realised.
That is, until OpenAI released a tool called ‘ChatGPT’. With the fastest growing user base in history – over 100 million users in just two months from launch – it’s swept the world. And almost certainly changed it.
From writing articles and reports, to explaining advanced concepts in a simple way, and even writing code – ChatGPT has accelerated the future and spurred on a modern revolution, similar to the iPhone launch starting the smartphone revolution back in 2007. It’s so powerful, it’s even passed legal bar exams, US SATs, and much more. It’s become such an issue that other people have created tools to detect work generated by ChatGPT, and schools and universities are rushing to combat it.
Yet, it almost seems futile to try and fight against it. In the end, this is an emerging technology. Thanks to the massive leap OpenAI has made, Microsoft has gone all-in trying to get users to adopt it. They’ve added ChatGPT functionality to their Bing search, and soon the Microsoft Suite will have something called ‘Co-Pilot’, this is an AI that will help you generate Word documents, take meeting notes for meetings you don’t even attend, create PowerPoint slides, and so much more.
Even Google has been forced to react. With their main business of Google search under threat, they’ve reacted with their own AI, known as ‘Bard’. While not as advanced as ChatGPT at this stage, there’s little doubt that AI has become a key priority for Google now.
So, AI is now a big deal. Does that mean there’s only a limited amount of time before everyone loses their jobs and a social crisis is upon us? Well, no. Not really.
If you play with these AI tools long enough, you begin to realise there’s a distinct lack of something. Whether it’s the image generators never quite managing to recreate human hands, the AI voices sounding a bit eerie, or ChatGPT replying in a very logical and cold way – you could argue it’s missing a crucial component: ‘humanity. But at a basic level, it just seems a bit repetitive and isn’t always correct. While amazing, anything it generates still needs a human to review and change it before it’s correct.
Certainly, from the direction the major companies are heading, it seems AI tools will be used to assist humans rather than replace them. Instead of creating a first draft of a report, the AI tool can do it, and you can make tweaks instead. Or instead of creating a PowerPoint slide deck from scratch, AI can start you off. Even with coding, if you’re stuck on something, AI can suggest an algorithm or code to get you going again.
If you’re fearing for your job, then you should play with these tools to get a sense of what I’m talking about. Least of all, because you will likely need to embrace it in the near future. While it’s true some jobs will be automated, as has happened in the manufacturing sector already, it’s not all bad news. It’s anticipated that AI will create 97 million new jobs by 2025 according to the World Economic Forum.
The AI revolution will come, but not in the form we all expected. You just need to make sure you’re ready for it.