The idea of AI taking your job may seem like a dystopian nightmare lifted straight from the pages of a Philip K. Dick novel. However, for decades now, the efficacy of AI and automation has been responsible for loss of progression and innovation in the workplace.
And the discussion around AI has exploded in recent months, following the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. For anyone who’s been hiding under a rock since before Christmas, ChatGPT is an AI tool that answers user’s questions to help complete tasks. These tasks can range from writing articles, answering general questions and generating code.
Despite being in its infancy, the system is already wowing users with its speed and ability to collate and convey vast amounts of detailed information to the user. As such, many are trying to anticipate whether the tool - otherwise known as a “language machine” - will have an impact on businesses and jobs.
In fact, Zak Saidi, creative director and AI Lead of creative agency IZSRI, which uses AI to automate some writing tasks, recently told the Daily Mail that that the impact of AI would be felt across many sectors within the next three years. He believed several sectors could be at risk, including:
Copywriters & bloggers
Software engineers and cybersecurity experts
But should we really be concerned about ChatGPT, and AI in general, potentially reducing the number of actual employees? Or should these advancements be viewed as a positive tool that can make work more efficient?
Below, Connor Campbell, business expert at NerdWallet, explains how ChatGPT specifically may have an impact on the UK workforce.
Who can use ChatGPT?
ChatGPT can be used by pretty much anyone, which is likely to be a key reason the tool has hit the headlines over the past few months.
There have been crackdowns on the tool by Australian universities, who raised fears it could be used by students to generate essays. Using this logic, workers within jobs that require writing and coding may see the tool as a way of churning out work faster.
What jobs could tools like ChatGPT impact?
The workers that could be affected by AI tools such as ChatGPT are likely to be in jobs that could use the tool for support. Content writers, marketers, web developers and customer service roles may be looking at the tool and wondering whether their jobs could be at risk in the future, if the technology becomes much more advanced.
Is ChatGPT a risk to workers?
Right now, it’s unclear whether ChatGPT will cause a future mass of job losses, but technology is ever-developing and it remains to be seen how advanced the technology can get.
It’s important to note that the tool is currently an aid to workers, rather than a replacement. The technology has come a long way, and roles may change in the future to accommodate its use, but it isn’t quite so advanced that mass layoffs are forthcoming.
What should workers do if they feel at risk?
It’s important to understand the line of work you are in and keep on top of the latest technology in your field. If you can upskill and learn how to use new tools to your advantage and master them better than your peers, this will help you become a more effective and valuable employee.