ChatGPT and other recently released generative AI models hold the promise of automating all sorts of tasks that were previously thought to be solely in the realm of human creativity and reasoning, from writing to creating graphics to summarizing and analyzing data. That has left economists unsure how jobs and overall productivity might be affected.
For all the amazing advances in AI and other digital tools over the last decade, their record in improving prosperity and spurring widespread economic growth is discouraging. Although a few investors and entrepreneurs have become very rich, most people haven’t benefited. Some have even been automated out of their jobs.
Who will AI help? The Pros and the Cons
The optimistic view: it will prove to be a powerful tool for many workers, improving their capabilities and expertise, while providing a boost to the overall economy. The pessimistic one: companies will simply use it to destroy what once looked like automation-proof jobs, well-paying ones that require creative skills and logical reasoning; a few high-tech companies and tech elites will get even richer, but it will do little for overall economic growth.
David Autor, an MIT labor economist and a leading expert on the impact of technology on jobs. “Law firms are already using it, and that’s just one example. It opens up a range of tasks that can be automated.”
Autor also sees a more positive possible outcome: generative AI could help a wide swath of people gain the skills to compete with those who have more education and expertise.
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From experience and decades in the workplace. New ideas generate more jobs and positions that are more challenging. It’s important that people are ready to learn more skills in order to make lateral moves or take on more challenging positions. If it’s necessary to downgrade for a bit, that’s alright, the
general movement will be upward. As 1999 turned into the year 2000, people thought the nation would collapse. Prepper companies were prosperous. However, the crossover to year 2000 from 1999 was a nothing burger. Fear is never the way to go, just sit back, observe, when there it is time to alter or change, take that next step. We’ll all be alright.