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Generative AI: Will it replace jobs or be your coworker?

Generative AI has recently captured the world’s attention, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of its potential. With cutting-edge platforms like ChatGPT and Bard, the possibilities for innovation are endless. This revolutionary technology can rapidly produce high-quality text, generate codes, create scripts, and ultimately automate tasks— making it a game-changer across industries, job markets, companies, and work.

For example, suppose you ask GPT a question or request a piece of writing. In that case, it will respond in a natural-sounding language that is well-structured and difficult to distinguish from human responses. This means businesses can theoretically use this technology to produce written content for advertising, marketing emails, social media posts, long-form content marketing pieces, and website copy.

As more companies adopt AI and develop new applications, the extent of these changes remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain: generative AI is ushering in a new era of limitless potential.

Despite its promise, concerns about its societal implications abound. For instance, in an interview, Elon Musk warned the public that generative AI could lead to “civilization destruction.” He added that there needs to be a regulatory agency that guards the insights produced by AI.

As we grapple with the implications of this groundbreaking technology, questions loom about the role generative AI will ultimately play in the world. Are bots poised to steal our jobs? Will generative AI replace human workers? If not, then what will the role of AI be?

Will Generative AI replace your jobs?

For decades, the worry that robots will someday replace humans has been prevalent, and generative AI is now speculated to be a potential catalyst for this scenario.

Goldman Sachs reported that around 300 million jobs could be affected by generative AI, meaning 18% of work globally could be automated—with more advanced economies heavily impacted than emerging markets. Mckinsey supported this stating that “generative AI and other foundation models are taking assistive technology to a new level, reducing application development time, and bringing powerful capabilities to nontechnical users.” These leading companies imply that AI can affect a wide range of processes and products in many sectors, and it could lead to what everyone fears—job displacement.

However, humans still have the advantage over generative AI when it comes to creativity, ingenuity, and critical thinking. Below are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t worry about generative AI:

AI lacks emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It plays a critical role in many jobs that require social interaction and effective communication. For example, HR professionals need to be empathetic listeners to handle employee concerns and workplace conflicts with sensitivity and tact. Sales professionals rely on EQ to build relationships with clients, understand their needs and concerns, and effectively communicate the value of their products or services.

Emotional intelligence is vital to perceiving, reasoning, understanding, and managing the emotions of oneself and others. Successful leaders and business owners are built on appealing to employee and client emotions. Generative AI cannot achieve such degrees of human connection. No matter how advanced generative artificial intelligence becomes, it will never have a soul and can never act according to human emotions. It can only do what it’s told and not alter results based on how another party perceives it. Only humans are capable of doing so.

AI thinks within the box

AI lacks creativity because, as previously said, AI can only work with the data it gets. There are limitations to what it can do and what it knows. For instance, the famous ChatGPT has a cut-off point for its knowledge base, which is currently the end of 2021. When asked something about a more recent event, it might not have the information or the capability.

On the other hand, humans can think outside the box, gather knowledge from various sources, and devise solutions to complicated issues with little or no available data.

AI needs humans intelligence and is reliant on data

Without human intelligence, there would be no artificial intelligence. Humans create artificial intelligence and write the lines of code that AI is built with. Humans provide the data on which AI robots function. When data is entered into the code that does not include a new field of work or a new topic, the algorithm does not incorporate unforeseeable scenarios. As a result, the machine or bot may produce erroneous results or, worse, no results.

As AI applications expand, so will the demand for human services. Someone must design AI’s prompts to build, operate, and maintain the

machines, and only humans can do so.

Don’t fret. Generative AI won’t replace jobs, rather it will create new ones

The truth is that AI is going to become more prevalent as time goes on. World Economic Forum says, automation and technology will eliminate 85 million jobs while creating 97 million new ones. These newly created jobs, or what we may call “Jobs of the Future,” will entail acquiring new skills and necessitate significant investment in upskilling and reskilling young people and adults. The more AI is educated to perform highly repetitive activities frequently assigned to people, the more new roles with competitive wages will emerge in their stead. As a result, young professionals may have a broader selection of intriguing careers to choose from in the future.

On a different view, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) pointed out that generative artificial intelligence would generate an “AI coworker” rather than replace jobs.

“It (generative AI) will be a colleague. It will be a coworker, and that coworker will need time to understand the customer’s context… The context for a job to be completed will be industrial and customer-centric, with input continuing to come from the person being aided in activities by such a coworker, said Tata Consultancy’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Milind Lakkad.

In Lakkad’s view, such tools will help enhance productivity, and uniformity of work provided and eliminate the need for governance. It will accelerate delivery and reduce the requirement for peripheral services. In the years to come, generative AI will likely redefine how we view and approach work, creating new job roles and making significant changes to existing ones.

Forward-thinking firms are already working on integrating human capabilities and AI to boost productivity and innovation. Companies embracing this change will enter the future with a competitive edge.

This is the first of a 3-part deep dive on generative AI. Read the whole series to understand how generative AI will create new jobs and how it will impact critical aspects of the workforce.

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