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Is AI a Blessing or a Curse? 

Is AI a Blessing or a Curse? 

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It’s 2023 and artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is booming. With a simple tap on a phone screen, app users can edit photos to look like they’ve lived in the Elizabethan era, have the facial features of a celebrity using Facetune, and much more. Even beyond photo and video editing, AI has become more mainstream to suit even the less tech-savvy. 

Have you ever seen a delivery vehicle traveling alone without a driver behind the wheel? Well, you can thank AI for that. Imagine being able to substitute human workers for AI-generated machinery. Imagine AI-generated machinery that can write journalistic articles, create code in place of programmers, or replace warehouse workers. 

If AI continues to take over the workforce, we can expect newly added technology, higher efficiency rates, and more capability. With that being said, will human workers be a thing of the past? A workforce primarily consisting of AI-generated robots may soon become a reality.

AI has been taking over even the simplest tasks that normally require human operation. Writing, advertising, and customer service are common tasks that have become AI-generated. More recently, the AI-operated chatbot ChatGPT has written essays for students, stories in place of actual authors, and graphics in place of graphic designers. 

The rapid growth in productivity led by AI can boost efficiency in the workplace. This means that work can be completed much faster and more precisely than the average human operation can do. This may come as a surprise to many, but this sudden boost may not be 100 percent positive for the economy. If a simple click can have a bot produce an entire resume, create a graphic for a national advertisement, or help a confused customer with online customer service support, then what happens to the hard workers who once fulfilled those roles prior to AI? 

With the emergence of AI, we can be looking at a future with bots serving as a threat to the workforce. What the average human worker can do, AI can do times two. AI is becoming the new tool to turn to. In this over-competitive job market, we may see a decline in several human-operated jobs. The emergence of new technology may leave workers feeling as though their jobs are on the line. This begs the question: Is AI a blessing or a curse? 

A 2023 report from the investment banking company Goldman Sachs states that AI potentially could replace up to 300 million full-time jobs in the United States and Europe, specifically speaking, a quarter of tasks in the U.S. and Europe. AI has been improving recently to the point in which generative AI has produced content that is indistinguishable from human-made work. This means that an AI bot could create a story or write a paper, and it would remain unknown that it was AI-generated. 

According to Martin Ford, the author of Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Everything, Ford states that jobs like the following positions are threatened by AI: content markers, beat journalists, graphic artists, data analysts, programmers/coders, lawyers, warehouse workers, and radiologists. While these are the jobs most threatened by the use of AI in the future, the least threatened jobs include skilled-trades people, construction workers, food servers, counseling, professional athletes, and entrepreneurial roles. 

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Research shows that many of the human-operated jobs today can function through bots. There are still several human-operated jobs that do require skilled laborers. Skilled laborers generally have a higher education background. Skilled laborer jobs can be described as jobs that can be completed through software or algorithms. Ford also states how your job is susceptible to being taken over by AI if it consists of a role that can be performed by studying past material to learn the job and perform it. 

The topic of AI-generated versus human-operated can spark a huge debate. Although AI-generated work gets the job done quickly and precisely, it’s not always perfect. Many people who requested customer service online can probably recall getting a response from a bot. There were probably times in which the bot couldn’t answer your question and you had to speak directly with an actual agent or representative. AI has come far, but fields like customer service show that there is still much work to be done.   

It’s evident that AI is not going anywhere anytime soon. The emergence of new technologies may incorporate AI to some degree. According to Tom Davenport, professor of IT and management at Babson College, changes in the job market are slow-moving. Davenport also states that it’s likely impossible for AI to completely take over the workforce, even though AI technologies are fiercely moving forward.

With the theory that robots are taking over the workforce, in what ways can workers overcome losing their jobs to the dominance of AI? Those who remain somewhat optimistic about AI theorize that the emergence of AI will create new and more job opportunities that coincide with AI. According to the tech site Tech.co, the growth of AI may be used as a tool to aid workers, rather than take jobs away. 

According to a research paper recently published by OpenAI, that analyzed the implications of generative pre-trained transformer models (GPT), statistics showed that AI can both help and harm the workplace. OpenAI predicted that AI would help 10% of work duties for 8 out of 10 workers, and 19% of workers would benefit from AI by having it complete 50% of their work duties. According to Tech.co, statistics like this prove that the integration of AI taking over jobs would occur gradually.  

There’s no stopping AI. It’s clear that it is a technical feature that will continue to be analyzed and implemented in the years to come.


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