The leap forward in AI technology has for months been the subject of divisive discussion among professionals.
Whilst the battle rages on about its place in society, Silicon Valley is perceiving this development as a goldmine within the tech world; the US Department of Commerce reporting that global AI funding reached an estimated $66.8 billion in 2021, doubling its previous figures from 2020.
Whilst tools such as ChatGPT are pushing the boundaries of technology’s place in society, the ramifications for the future of human-centric jobs remains largely unknown. And whilst experts have insisted that such tools are there to assist humans, not replace them, it seems that a huge portion of the workforce simply don’t believe this to be true.
In fact, a massive 42% of professionals believe that AI will replace jobs in their area of work, according to data from AtlasVPN.
It’s true that AI tools already help automate tasks, collect and analyze data, create graphic designs, or handle basic customer queries, yet many fear that the ability to scour masses of data at lightning speed and process it into reports or event copy will effectively make humans redundant.
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It’s not just the average worker who has shared anxieties around AI’s future. Elon Musk – Tesla CEO and OpenAI co-founder – alongside a group of artificial intelligence experts and industry executives, are calling for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI's newly launched GPT-4, citing potential risks to society.
Clearly, the concern of 42% of the workforce isn’t for nothing.
However, it must be noted that a similar percentage (39%) of people disagree that AI will overtake their work. Some jobs still require a physical intervention of a person and, at the moment, cannot be replaced by AI.
Nearly a fifth (19%) of professionals also felt neutral about AI replacing them in their work. Yet, some people may not be fully aware of the extent to which AI could automate their tasks.
A further two-thirds (67%) of people feel optimistic about the benefits AI can bring to society. In addition, 60% of respondents express excitement about AI technology.
So, it seems that for the time being, workers and society as a whole remain as divided as ever about the future of this increasingly dominant technology. Will a computer be doing your job in ten years’ time? We’ll have to wait and see.