In the past year, you couldn’t escape hearing about “AI” everywhere. People have been talking about artificial intelligence, which has been around for a long time, but really took off in 2022 with tools like ChatGPT (a chatbot you can talk to) and Dall-E (a program that turns text into pictures).
Other tech stuff has also become super popular in a short time. There are these digital artworks called NFTs, which have flooded the art world and some have sold for millions. Plus, you’ve probably noticed lots of ads for cryptocurrencies on TV and the internet.
Even though it feels like all of this tech stuff got really popular overnight, experts say that big companies usually pay attention to or invest in new ideas long before most people even know about them.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision.
The concept of artificial intelligence has been around for thousands of years, the first AI program was written in 1955.
How does AI work?
With the growing excitement surrounding AI, vendors have been in a rush to showcase how their products and services utilize it. Often, what they label as AI is actually a part of the technology, like machine learning.
AI necessitates a foundation of specialized hardware and software for creating and training machine learning algorithms. While there isn’t a single programming language exclusively linked with AI, Python, R, Java, C++, and Julia are among the languages favored by AI developers.
Broadly, AI systems function by consuming substantial amounts of labeled training data, scrutinizing this data for connections and patterns, and using these patterns to make predictions about future occurrences.
For instance, a chatbot provided with text examples can learn to generate natural conversations with people, while an image recognition tool can identify and describe objects in images after reviewing countless examples. Modern generative AI techniques are swiftly advancing and can produce realistic text, images, music, and other media.
AI programming concentrates on cognitive abilities, encompassing the following:
Learning: This facet of AI programming revolves around gathering data and creating rules for transforming it into actionable information. These rules, known as algorithms, offer step-by-step instructions to computing devices on how to execute specific tasks.
Reasoning: AI programming in this context focuses on selecting the appropriate algorithm to achieve a desired outcome.
Self-correction: This aspect of AI programming aims to continually refine algorithms to ensure they deliver the most accurate results.
Creativity: This dimension of AI employs neural networks, rules-based systems, statistical methods, and other AI techniques to generate fresh images, text, music, and ideas.
How Generative Tools Automate and Augment Some Parts of Work
Generative AI tools, such as OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, gained immense popularity shortly after their debut. In a mere two months post-launch, ChatGPT boasts an impressive 100 million monthly active users, highlighting the widespread appeal of chatbots and the underlying technology in various aspects of our daily lives.
Many sectors have adopted different AI tools to streamline and enhance tasks in the workplace. Yet, experts hold divergent views on whether this technology might lead to significant job displacement.
How AI Can Influence What You Learn at Work
With the increasing integration of AI into workplaces, employers hold the expectation that this technology can improve employees’ skills and boost productivity.
A recent collaborative research project conducted by Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology delved into the usage of an AI chatbot by customer support agents to handle technical support inquiries.
The study revealed that, although the productivity of less-experienced workers improved, there were concerns that the technology might be seen as a reliance, potentially hindering the acquisition of skills that employees would otherwise develop through on-the-job experience.
Will You Be Competing With a Bot for a Gig?
The advancement of generative artificial intelligence is a source of concern for some employees who are starting to question whether this technology might eventually replace their jobs.
Disney, for example, used AI to create the opening credits for a new TV show, and some copywriters have reported losing contract work to AI outsourcing, as stated in The Washington Post. Experts who specialize in AI research assert that this technology is firmly established and here to stay. They suggest that the most beneficial approach for workers is to adapt and learn how to collaborate effectively with AI.
Get Ready to Meet AI Assistant
Bringing AI into the workplace doesn’t inherently have negative implications for workers. Generative AI is already contributing positively to employees’ tasks by streamlining certain processes, discontinuing redundant ones, and even infusing a creative edge into their work routines.
A number of experts and entrepreneurs envision AI assistants designed to simplify job roles as the future of work, and they anticipate these assistants becoming widespread across various industries.
How AI Could Create New Careers
The AI boom isn’t just about fancy tech, it’s also creating jobs and markets we never thought possible. A study by Upwork found that many companies want to hire people to help them use AI, and these jobs aren’t just for tech experts.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a big change like this, and it won’t be the last. We’re still figuring out how AI will affect work. It’s a bit like when tractors, calculators, or computer software changed the way we work.
But there are some important things to keep in mind. New ideas, even fast ones like AI, take time to become a normal part of how companies do things. Our economy is still adjusting after the labor problems caused by the pandemic, and many people have jobs.
How much this AI change shakes things up depends on how quickly it happens. Will it follow the patterns we’ve seen with past inventions, like tractors or computers, as our experts suggest? Or is it something completely new?
It’s a big question we’ll keep asking as we follow how AI affects jobs.
AI has become super popular recently, with tools like ChatGPT, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. We’re worried it might take some jobs, but also think it can help make work easier. How it changes things depends on how quickly it’s used. It’s a question we’re still exploring.