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Can AI replace human jobs?
ChatGPT, an AI language model, is being used by companies to replace certain job roles and has the potential to perform many more. However, job roles that require human qualities such as emotions, empathy, creativity, critical thinking, and innovation are unlikely to be replaced.
First things first, the debate should be on whether ChatGPT can replace job roles and not jobs. After it was launched in the market, we’ve already assessed its capabilities and at its present state, it is rightly triggering a debate on whether certain job roles are vulnerable to replacement.
It appears that it has already started to replace certain roles and more roles are treated as vulnerable. Over time, it’s expected to do many of the jobs that humans do. Is that a scary proposition? Will it create large-scale unemployment? It indeed is a scary proposition, given that roles are already being replaced and more roles are vulnerable. But it’s not meant to emulate multiple human characteristics such as emotions, empathy, creativity, critical thinking, and innovation, at least not in the near future. Roles that require these characteristics are extremely unlikely to be replaced.
Has ChatGPT already replaced job roles?
The Resume Builder conducted a survey on 1,000 business leaders in the United States and found the following:
- 48% of the companies using the ChatGPT have already replaced workers
- an additional 30% state that they plan to start using it
- 25% of the companies claim that ChatGPT has already saved them more than $75,000
- 93% of the current users in the organizations surveyed say they plan to expand the scope of use cases of ChatGPT
While it appears that in terms of eliminating job roles, ChatGPT is still in the early stages — in spite of the job losses—it’s primed to perform many job roles already. As the survey reveals, the industry leaders are definitely bullish about the potential of ChatGPT. In the future, ChatGPT is going to play a critical role in the business processes of multiple organizations across the globe.
What is unique about ChatGPT?
The ChatGPT is being trained by huge volumes of data and machine learning algorithms to emulate human behavior to a certain extent. It is not your typical answering tool that responds to questions in a robotic and templatized way. On the contrary, it can respond to queries much like a human being. Depending on your prompts, it can respond in a formal, witty, angry, or conversational tone. For example, it can write a poem or can explain how an Application Programming Interface (API) works in a way that a 5-year-old can understand. It can write and validate code. Obviously, ChatGPT has great potential.
Which job roles are the most vulnerable?
Job roles that are manual, repetitive, and require minimal creativity and thinking are the most vulnerable. By that criteria, the following job roles are most likely to be affected. Note that the list is not exhaustive because ChatGPT can potentially disrupt roles across different industries to varying extents.
Data entry and data processing
Technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can efficiently, and tirelessly perform all types of data entry and data processing jobs in large volumes. Such technologies, for example, RPA, can be scheduled to execute at custom times to run as well. Obviously, human operators can’t do the same.
Customer service and support
Many organizations have been using AI chatbots and automated marketing tools for their target audience. For example, when you open a website that provides information on cars, a chat window pops up offering to help you with any queries you might have. Of course, such chatbots have their limitations and tend to engage a human being when it’s unable to answer a question. Also, they’re not yet trained to understand the natural language fully.
Accounting and bookkeeping
AI-powered software can perform tasks such as financial reporting, invoicing, and tax computation and preparation. Accountants’ and bookkeepers’ roles may be vulnerable. However, ChatGPT is a long way down from performing more complex tasks such as those performed by chartered accountants.
Roles that are least or not vulnerable
When prompted, “Will you replace jobs?”, ChatGPT responded, “As an AI language model, my purpose is to assist humans in various tasks, such as answering questions, generating text, and providing language-related services. However, I am not designed to replace human jobs, but rather to augment and enhance human capabilities by providing them with the information they need to make better decisions and complete their tasks more efficiently. While AI and automation are changing the nature of work, it is important to note that they are tools to be used by humans and not a replacement for human skills and expertise. The ultimate goal is to create a symbiotic relationship between humans and machines, where each can complement the other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
From the response, we can infer the following points:
- Will you lose your job to ChatGPT? It depends on how you’re using ChatGPT and how you’re evolving. It’s a plain and universal truth that your job role may be extinct eventually if your skills don’t evolve.
- ChatGPT doesn’t have qualities such as emotions, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, strategizing, problem-solving, and leadership and it’s extremely unlikely that it can ever develop these qualities. It’s being fed and trained with huge volumes of data through machine learning but the above qualities are unique to human beings. So, roles like content strategist, data scientist, communications specialist, psychologist, human behaviour and organizational behavioural specialist, and process champion are extremely unlikely to be replaced. At the most, these roles will extensively use the ChatGPT as an ally that can provide data based on which strategies and decisions can be made.
ChatGPT can and will replace certain job roles but the effects will be far from catastrophic. The key is to understand how to operate the tool and its capabilities and evolve within our roles. Organizations are profit-driven and will look to optimize their profits. But we need to upskill and harness unique human talents to the maximum. We need to find ways to evolve and improve our value proposition. While in times of volatility and AI, no job can be said to be totally secured, constant evolution, upskilling, and providing values remain the best ways to stay ahead of AI.