Is an AI Apocalypse on the rise?
We haven’t got much time.
In fact, as I type this, I am reminded that somewhere there is a mass of hyper-powered, hyper-intelligent bots being reengineered, with superhuman cognitive capabilities that far exceed the potential of our own feeble human brains. These bots come ready to take my job, your job! I think you all know what I’m suggesting. The dreaded and ever imminent AI Apocalypse.
For some it is a fiery Dantean inferno, for others it is an overwhelming swarm of vacant-eyed zombies scouring the streets, hungry for flesh and blood. Pick your poison. Whichever way you see it playing out, the Apocalypse is destined to be a catastrophic event that will bring about the end of human civilisation.
We see it as calamitous and destructive. Zombies, fire. But, with the exponential rise of Artificial Intelligence, a new kind of apocalypse could loom on the horizon. The AI Apocalypse.
What is AI?
AI is short for Artificial Intelligence and is defined as technologies that carry typical human intelligence with capability of performing tasks that mimic human cognition at a much more efficient and accurate rate. Since 2000 (conveniently the same time as Y2K), its growth has been exponential, driven by advancements in computing power, big data and machine learning algorithms.
So pertinent in fact that it has spread its tendons into our quotidian life, no longer reserved for big corporations and steely, high-tech companies. Whether you are aware or not, it’s likely you have already become reliant on AI.
Some AI tools you may recognise and use:
o Siri and Alexa
Image recognition software:
o on your iPhone iOS
Voice-to-text transcription services:
Personalised and targeting marketing:
o That freakishly appropriate box in the top corner of, that all-too-convenient
Recommendation algorithm streaming services:
YouTube, Netflix and Spotify
And most relevant to this article:
o Chat GPT
Notice a few?
What the world thinks about AI
As usual, the world is divided. Some have likened its exponential rise as the sign of an apocalypse, pushing for the halt of its iterations. Others have welcomed it heartily and implemented it across spheres from business to social life.
I am yet to form a consensus. Like many of us, I find the topic of AI confronting. When a shiny new tool promises to make things better, easier, we try our best to resist, avoid its grip, to prove we can do things ourselves. An all-too-human tendency.
Let’s take a look again at that list above. I am alarmed at its already-apparent ubiquity. With the recent release of Chat-GPT (that has since iterated since completing this article), AI is clearly showing no signs of relenting, which means the Apocalypse might come sooner than we think… it might.. already be here.
Writing this article comes not out of a casual curiosity but a fundamental need. Our civilisation, our livelihood… and my job, rests on it. So, let’s not waste time. I discuss the plausibility of an AI Apocalypse and delve deeper into the new bot on the block; CHAT GPT. We chat about how to befriend it and offer some useful prompts to try that may actually make you a better human.
But, before that. Here is a brief outline of AI growth since 2000 (the once predicted Apocalypse) just to keep the fear of the Apocalypse prickling. Note: this table may or may not have been created using AI software.
|Year||Notable AI Applications||Examples of Popular Applications|
|2000 – y2K (the imagined apocalypse)||– Spam filters for email <br> – Predictive text for mobile devices||Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Samsung Keyboard, iPhone Keyboard|
|2005||– AI-powered virtual assistants, such as Siri and Alexa <br> – AI-powered recommendation systems for e-commerce||Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify|
|2010||– AI-powered trading algorithms for financial markets <br> – Deep learning algorithms for improved speech and image recognition||Robinhood, E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Google Assistant, Amazon Rekognition|
|2015||– AI-powered recommendation systems for streaming services <br> – Natural language processing for chatbots and virtual assistants||Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram|
|2020||– AI-powered contact tracing and pandemic response <br> – AI-powered autonomous robots for various industries||Apple/Google Exposure Notification, Boston Dynamics, Blue River Technology|
|2023 (The actual apocalypse?)||– AI-powered content creation and design tools <br> – Advanced chatbots and conversational AI||Canva, OpenAI’s GPT-3, ChatGPT, Zendesk, Intercom|
As I write this, somewhere my CEO is punching these words into a Chat GPT bot, curious to see if my office desk could be replaced by a ping top table. *gulp*
Apocalypse or Revolution?
Before we retreat to the bunker, throw our phones in the ocean, size up our coworkers to see who’s skin might be supple enough to … ahhh… you get the picture, may I propose a new theory to the cabalistic conspiracists? The apocalypse is already here and what we are experiencing may just be the beginnings of a revolution.
So for the rest of this article, I’ll implore you to think less “apocalypse”, more “revolution”.
Same shock value effect. Same symptoms. But more constructive.
The term “revolution” is used to describe periods of intense social, political, or economic upheaval. Throughout history, we have moved this way. In revolution, with each one bringing about great change and human evolution. From the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution and now, a fourth. The Digital revolution, which has seen the fusing of technologies, blurring the lines between material, immaterial and threading deep into our psyche and subconscious.
It’s easy to feel anxious about the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, to class it as the beginning of the apocalypse, clinging on firmly to our mediocre atomic jobs like a child unwilling to relinquish the pacifier. The panic surrounding the rise of AI may feel real, harrowing, but that doesn’t mean it’s warranted or justified.
In fact, this could be big, this could be our saviour. Much bigger than our own little office desks, our antiquated HR processes and the shift towards a new age of work; offering a recalibration of humanity.
But our resistance and panic is not making it any easier. In my opinion this points less to the malevolence of machines, but more to our innate human fears. The polemic surrounding AI reflects a human proclivity to debate, to question rather than do the more difficult thing, what we are spiritually, biologically, evolved to do. It’s hardwired in our collective subconscious to argue. I’d say it’s actually a useful way to shirk away any responsibility and evade our true capabilities.
Dante’s Inferno Apocalypse? Unlikely.
Zombie Apocalypse? Possible.
AI Apocalypse? already here.
In fact, it was heralded long ago, we were all just too busy looking at our screens, reeling through tik-toks to notice. Businesses, industries, twinkling apps have made us idle and dependent on technology in ways we may not even perceive. Rather than a calamitous crash as prophesied, the apocalypse has spread its tendons slowly, tethering us to a technocratic prison. Insidious and yet ever-noxious like a haze that can’t be lifted.
Look out beyond the pacifying glow of your own screen and it’s hard not to find someone doing the same. We avoid eye contact, shuffle along the street without looking above, tethered to a force. AI has already impacted us, extinguished the life out of us… kept us in jobs we might not even like, kept us enclosed in hopes.
But there is hope.
And it might come in the form of a new, shiny bot; CHAT GPT. With its undeniable potential to mimic human cognitive conversation at a rapid rate, it has the ability to relieve us from the dull monotony of automatic tasks, to teach us and provide us with tailored information. And it might just signal the end of an already-encroached apocalypse, leading us to regeneration, illumination, renaissance.
We shouldn’t act like we already don’t make it do everything for us…
I won’t pretend that it didn’t accompany me whilst I wrote this very article, efficiently spitting facts, statistics and synonyms at me whilst I twiddled my tips before the keypad. And I don’t doubt you haven’t surreptitiously used it to craft emails for you.
Chat GPT has become every HR manager’s best friend and… (I know you were waiting for this part) . In fact, since my boss has left his desk, I’m pretty tired myself, so why not let CHAT GPT prove its worth and take it from here…
Chat GPT, “give my trusted HR readership some tips on how they can use AI in conjunction with HR management.”
Here we go… I’ll let Chat GPT help you with this one. It has begun… hopefully I keep my job!
As businesses increasingly turn to technology to streamline their operations and improve efficiency, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in HR management. Here are some tips for using AI effectively in the workplace:
- Rostering: Automate the task of scheduling shifts for employees with rostering software that utilises AI algorithms to determine the optimal shift patterns based on employee availability, skills, and preferences.
- Time and attendance software: Use AI-powered time and attendance software to reduce manual data entry, streamline the payroll process, and ensure compliance with labor laws.
- HR software: Implement a comprehensive HRIS system that leverages AI to automate repetitive HR tasks, such as onboarding, performance reviews, and benefits administration. This frees up HR staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.
- Human resource management system: Deploy an HRMS that utilises AI and machine learning to provide predictive analytics and insights into employee engagement, retention, and productivity. This can help HR managers make data-driven decisions and improve overall organisational performance.
- Performance reviews: Use AI-powered performance review software that provides real-time feedback and coaching to employees. This can help identify skills gaps and provide targeted training and development opportunities.
For other relevant posts:
- 4 Ways to Reduce HR costs Through HR Software.
- The Changing Role of Human Resources Management – HRM.
- The State of Human Capital Management: A Roadmap to the Empowered Workplace.