Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Artificial Intelligence AnymoreJan 27, 2023
Think Artificial Intelligence isn’t relevant to you? Think again.
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t a new concept; the term was coined in 1956.
Thinking, talking—and sometimes malevolent—machines have been featured in popular culture since the late 1960s in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and television shows like Star Trek (1966).
Yet while familiar, the mainstream idea has remained largely in the realm of science fiction: something that may happen someday.
Those who work in analytic professions have become more aware of significant advances in AI in recent years, both in its ability to understand the nuances in natural language (NLP) as well as the ability to process large, complex datasets to derive ever-better predictions.
But there had yet to be broadly disseminated AI applications that could be used by anyone, in everyday life.
If you’ve been ignoring recent headlines about a new AI release from OpenAI called ChatGPT3, it’s probably time to start paying attention.
It can do your work.
Sometimes better and faster than you can.
It can answer questions, be creative, solve equations, explain complicated concepts, write essays, and even write poetry.
In fact, AI is likely to have a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of white collar workers in the next five years.
Some ways that AI may alter the work of white-collar workers include:
- Automation of repetitive tasks: AI systems can be trained to perform repetitive tasks such as data entry, scheduling, and customer service, freeing up white-collar workers to focus on more complex and higher-level tasks.
- Improved efficiency: AI-powered tools can help white-collar workers to complete tasks faster and more accurately, increasing productivity and reducing errors.
- Augmented decision making: AI systems can provide real-time insights and recommendations to white-collar workers, helping them to make better and more informed decisions.
- Virtual assistance: AI-powered virtual assistants can help white-collar workers to manage their emails, schedule, and other administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on more important work.
- Remote work: AI-powered remote work tools can facilitate the work of white-collar workers who are working remotely, such as video conferencing, online collaboration, and virtual meetings.
- Advanced analytics: AI can provide advanced analytics that can help white-collar workers to make predictions, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
Oh, and by the way, the list above was generated by ChatGPT in less than a minute after I asked it how AI would change work in the next five years.
Like I just did, students are already using it write essays—though the result is not always accurate)—prompting some school boards to ban their use and others to rethink how education will look in this new era when we incorporate AI into teaching.
The year 2022 was a tipping point for AI, where ChatGPT and others finally passed the Turing test, which is the ability to interact intelligently, indistinguishable from a human.
It not only can give information, but also do it in a specified writing style (blog, tweet, academic abstract).
Further, ChatGPT can interact with social awareness.
It can respond politely or empathetically but will decline to be snarky when asked.
When I requested a humorous email, it did so, but also cautioned me that depending on the work culture and your relationship with the coworker, a recipient could take it the wrong way.
Last week, a CEO discussed how AI is now part of his regular routine, using it to create emails, write his speeches in an upbeat tone, and even to sort through important strategic questions.
In this way, computing has graduated from a smart assistant taking instructions to an intelligent thinking partner.
This is an incredible, and startling, achievement.
And there’s more.
Another AI release is shaking up the art world: Dall-E.
Also created by OpenAI, a company originally cofounded by Elon Musk, this application can generate artistic renderings depicting any subject, in any style, in any colors.
When I asked it to generate a realistic image of aspen trees in fall with an elk herd in the foreground and steep mountains in the background, it gave me this.
These are original, never-before-generated images produced in less than a minute, not images it finds online.
When I asked for the same subject, but as a painting in the style of Monet, it gave me this:
In photography, a new AI site called Headshotz.ai provides you with several new, professional-looking head shots with your chosen background, in perfect lighting, with hair and face looking great by using uploaded, imperfect pictures of yourself.
For twenty dollars.
Which undoubtedly will take business away from talented photographers.
Or, now you can build lifelike video content instead of hiring an actor. D-ID allows you to enter a script and create a video presentation delivered by a human face (from your choice of presenters), using a human voice (from your choice of voices). Click here to see the video I created in under 30 seconds.
Then, think about the implications should someone decide to hijack your face and your voice, and make the artificial "you" say whatever they decide.
In music, Google just announced an AI tool that can generate new, unique music from text describing the genre, tempo, mood, beat, or other aspects.
Reviewers commented about the
high quality of sound, especially given that it didn’t require musicians, instruments or a recording studio.
In analytics, AI is transforming everything from sports betting to patient care to retail services, promising improved abilities to anticipate, predict and deliver what humans need, when they need it.
Advances in AI are coming so quickly that many professions risk being unprepared, made obsolete, or even accused of malpractice if they don’t get onboard.
Lawyers need to understand the currently-undefined legal and ownership implications of AI-generated output.
Photographers, writers, executive assistants, coders, artists, teachers, customer service representatives, and analysts all need to consider how their work might be altered, supported, replaced, or completely turned upside down.
We don’t know which jobs or tasks will be completely replaced with this technology.
But it’s almost certain that some will be.
What is clear today is that everyone needs to be aware of these applications and how they are being used.
We are already behind in thinking through what it means to public education, transparency, news, and other aspects of daily life.
In my world as an analytic translator, I need to be prepared to explain what AI can and can’t do, and what makes it accurate or not.
On that note, I asked ChatGPT to write a 1,000-word blog post to explain how analytic translators can help people understand AI.
It provided a logical, thorough explanation that ended with this paragraph:
In conclusion, AI is rapidly changing the business world and companies need to be able to effectively use and implement these technologies to stay competitive. Analytic translators can make this transition easier for non-technical individuals by acting as a bridge between the technical and non-technical worlds, helping to explain complex data and analytics in a way that is easy to understand. They can also help to identify areas where AI and analytics can be most beneficial for a company and ensure data quality, integrity, and security.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Which is both amazing and scary.