A.I: The Myths and Truths You Need To Know.
Welcome back. If you are reading this, it is safe to say you have survived another week of the Apocalypse! A little context if the A-word incites some panic? In my last article we discussed the myth of the “AI apocalypse”, concluding that it might already be here. But, it seems some of you were dubious. Today, we return to this topic of the “AI Apocalypse” and unpick some of the pertinent arguments rifting the public sphere.
REASONS WHY THE AI MIGHT JUST BE UTOPIC.
1. AI WILL MAKE ME LAZY AND OVERLY RELIANT!!
Giving us the answers we seek in a neat and direct way or providing a dialogue by which we can deepen our own opinions removes the keyboard twiddling. This promises to relieve much of the time wasted engaging in monotonous research. Chat GPT and similar AI bots have a profound capability to mimic human conversation, making connections between disparate fields appear, creating new patterns and answers, reducing the dilemma of doubt. Giving us the answer we seek seems almost “too easy”, “too good to be true”. No, we’d much prefer the long route, take me down the rabbit-hole, send me sifting, reeling, rolling! I think this fear is just a guised resistance to our own efficiency and potential. AI only serves to empower what is asked of it, it should be treated as a responsive tool, not a source of creation. It all resides on how we choose to use it. There is undoubted potential here to create more efficient processes. When prompted accurately, CHAT GPT can be advantageous (see my article next week for more on this) making you paradoxically more proactive, less-reliant. Of course, with this, we lose one less excuse, the awe of wondering, of aimlessness and we might actually be forced to be better or to… gulp… do our job… a much more harrowing prospect.
2. AI MIGHT MAKE ME LOSE MY JOB!
I’ll admit, It’s got some veracity. Some experts predict that AI and automation will lead to significant job displacement in certain industries. Goldman Sachs estimates 300 million jobs will be lost to AI by 2030. Billions of jobs could disappear within the next ten years. Vast industries will be entirely wiped out or redundant:
- customer service
- data entry and analysis
- medical diagnosis
That’s pretty frightening and there’s something about that hyperbolic timbre, and few too many exclamation points that makes this argument particularly delectable. I cannot argue with the statistics, it’s clear that AI will inevitably see the removal of jobs, we are even seeing its effects now. But, will you allow it to? Where this argument falls short is it fails to recognise the fluidity and agility of the human mind. It may appear credible upon a screen, you find offence in the crude, tangibility of codes and numbers, but consider the jobs that may spawn in conjunction. When one thing is filled or reduced, it is always preceded by something better. Old things are replaced with newer, better, more efficient ones. Are you afraid your job might make the cut? Have you considered it might just warrant a new way of working? And quietly, do you even like your job?
I see this as a vastly exciting prospect, rather than something to fear. AI will change industries as we know them but consider the jobs resultantly created, that machines just cannot do. Put simply: ChatGPT, AI is not a replacement for you. It will never be. AI lacks the ability to truly understand the complexity of human language and conversation. It is simply trained to generate words based on a given input, but it will never be human.
3. AI MIGHT MAKE US A RACE OF IDLE, CONSUMPTION-DRIVEN MONSTER
I have to admit, I chuckled at this one. Before, a few questions for you. How long do you tik–tok? Who was the first person you greeted this morning, was it your wife, or… the revitalising LED of your phone screen? No need to answer, the stark expression on your face is all the answer I need. It’s an unfortunate and yet inescapable fact that we are existing during a capitalistic time, undergirded by an incessant need to consume. Completing a single task often demands stringent discipline that seems almost inhuman.
Enter AI: Our saviour. They have the potential to transform our idle and consumption-driven tendencies by keeping us focused and on task. Have issues with time management? AI can provide you with a tailored structure for your day, offer tips to increase productivity and even create a study plan. Spend an embarrassing amount of time wording emails, social media content lacking, still stuck trying to find the right word? AI can craft that email template for you, formulate a social media plan and give you a list of synonyms.
But the benefits of AI go beyond these mundane, automatic tasks. In fact, as we develop a relationship with agents like ChatGPT, they can become conduits to our own evolution. They can serve as companions that allow us to explore our innate aspirations. Want to know more about a topic? CHAT GPT explains. Rather than the vague, impersonal response of search engines, AI can respond to our specific queries, meaning the world becomes a little less boggling, delivering us from the path of consumption into intention, into creation. By engaging with AI agents like ChatGPT, we can break free from the grasp of corporate-driven forces, scrolling at the behest of serpentine algorithms, only looking to keep you into a helix of consumption. Through this intentional engagement, we can harness the power of AI to regain control over our time. Remember, AI’s use doesn’t have to be a cause for concern. Instead, it should inspire us to shape its utilisation in ways that align.
4. Chat GPT might make me a better worker.
Hold up? This is eerily off brand. What’s happened to the capitalisation? The frantic intensity? And WHERE ARE THE EXCLAMATION MARKS!? It seems we’ve over exhausted all our excuses and come to the only logical and plausibly surmisable conclusion. That AI might make us a better human.
- By reducing the time wasted procrastinating making us more efficient at our work
- By relieving us from the monotony of automatic tasks
- By replacing mechanic jobs and opening us to unforeseen possibilities in the future.
- By engaging in conversations, allowing us to explore multi-faceted topics, learn new skills at an expedited rate.
Leaving us left to face your own unlived potential. What precedes the Apocalypse? UTOPIA.
The fear and resistance towards AI technology points less to an “Apocalypse” but more to our own human proclivity to fear and resist. To finish, I’d say the release of AI, particularly chatbots, is at an exciting, ground-breaking threshold, it could relieve us from the dulling monotony of tasks. It’s clear AI is only just warming up. We are left with two choices here; to ignore its existence, banish it to the forest like Frankenstein or befriend it.
Next week, we CHAT GPT…