Until recently, Dean Meadowcroft was a copywriter in a small marketing department.
His responsibilities included writing press releases, social media posts and other content for his company.
But then, late last year, his firm introduced an artificial intelligence (AI) system.
“At the time, the idea was to work alongside a copywriter to help speed things up, essentially streamline things a little more,” he says.
Meadowcroft was not particularly impressed with the performance of the AI.
“It made everything sound flat, that we were all exactly the same, and so there was no one who really stood out.”
The content also had to be checked by the staff to make sure it wasn’t taken from anywhere else.
But the AI was fast.
What takes 60-90 minutes for a human copywriter, AI can do in 10 minutes or less.
About four months after the introduction of AI, Meadowcroft’s four-man team was fired.
Meadowcroft isn’t entirely sure, but he’s pretty sure they’ve been replaced by AI.
“I laughed at the possibility that AI could replace writers or that it would affect my work until that happened,” he said.
jobs at risk
The latest wave of AI came late last year when OpenAI released ChatGPT.
Created by Microsoft, ChatGPT can give human-like answers to any question, as well as create essays, speeches, and even recipes in minutes.
Other tech giants have also introduced their own systems: Google launched Bard in March.
And while they’re not perfect, these systems are trained to dive into the ocean of data available on the Internet, a volume of information that even a group of people can’t digest.
This has led many to wonder what jobs could be at risk.
Earlier this year, a Goldman Sachs report said that AI could potentially replace 300 million full-time equivalent jobs.
And that job losses will not fall equally across all levels of the economy.
According to the report, 46% of tasks in the administrative professions and 44% in the legal professions can be automated, but only 6% in construction and 4% in maintenance.
The report also notes that the introduction of AI can boost productivity and growth, as well as create new jobs.
There is already some evidence for this.
This month, IKEA said it has trained 8,500 employees who have worked in its call centers as design consultants since 2021.
The furniture giant says 47% of customer calls are now handled by an artificial intelligence named Billy.
While IKEA does not estimate job losses as a result of the use of AI, such developments are of concern to many people.
A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey of 12,000 workers worldwide found that a third of them are worried that artificial intelligence will replace them at work, with front-line workers more worried than managers.
BCG’s Jessica Apotheker says it’s partly due to fear of the unknown.
“When you look at leaders and managers, over 80% of them use AI at least once a week. If you look at the frontline staff, that number drops to 20%, so the lack of familiarity with technology causes a lot more anxiety and worry. about the results for them.
But perhaps there is good reason for concern.
YouTube and AI
Last year, Alejandro Graue voiced a popular YouTube channel for three months.
It seemed like a promising line of work, the entire English YouTube channel needed to be translated into Spanish.
Graue went on leave at the end of the year, confident that there would be work upon his return.
“I had this income to live on. I have two daughters, so I need money,” she says.
But, to his surprise, before returning to work, a new video in Spanish was uploaded to the YouTube channel, on which he had not yet worked.
“When I clicked on it, I didn’t hear my own voice, but an artificial intelligence-generated voice, a very badly synchronized voice-over. It was terrible. And I thought, what is this? Will I have a new partner? channel or will it replace me?” he claims.
A phone call to the studio where he worked confirmed the worst.
The client wanted to experiment with AI because it was cheaper and faster.
That experiment was unsuccessful.
Viewers complained about the quality of the voice acting, and as a result, the channel removed the videos that used the voice created by AI.
But Grau found little consolation in this.
He believes technology will improve and wonders where artists like him will end up.
“If this starts happening at every job I do, what should I do? Is it worth buying a farm? I don’t know. What other job could you be looking for that won’t be replaced in the future? It’s very difficult,” he says.
But even if AI cannot replace you, there is a chance that it will help you in some way.
After several months of freelancing, former copywriter Dean Meadowcroft has taken a new direction.
She now works for an employee assistance company, counseling staff on health and mental health issues.
Working with AI is now part of your job.
“I think that’s where the future of AI is — providing quick access to human-centric content, not eliminating it entirely,” he says.
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BBC-NEWS-SRC: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/articles/cn42glz5q8ro, IMPORT DATE: 2023-08-02 04:10:06