This is Part 2 of How Safe is my Job? Go here for Part 1.
When I originally wrote Part 1 of this article in 2019, I included the following paragraph:
Some have suggested that automation is inevitable. The trades that will thrive during the next phase will be the creative, technology, and healthcare industries.
Four years later, and the biggest existential threat to creatives is here – artificial intelligence and generative software. Possibly the most well-known of these is ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a computer program that can understand and generate human-like text. It was developed by OpenAI, a company specialising in artificial intelligence (AI). ChatGPT is used to build chatbots and other language-based tools.
OpenAI, founded in 2015, has the goal of advancing AI responsibly. They have developed many powerful AI programs, including ChatGPT. They are dedicated to using AI to solve problems and benefit humanity.
AI is a field of computer science that involves creating intelligent machines that can perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as understanding language or making decisions.
There are many different applications for AI, including self-driving cars, personal assistants, and language translation.
AI has the potential to revolutionise many industries and change the way we live and work. However, it’s important to ensure that AI is developed and used responsibly to bring benefits without causing unintended consequences. OpenAI is focused on this goal and works to ensure that AI is used ethically and transparently.
As you might have guessed, the above five paragraphs were written by ChatGPT itself, as were the following eight:
There is concern that as AI and generative software improve, they may eventually be able to produce writing that is indistinguishable from that produced by humans. This could potentially lead to a decrease in the demand for human writers. However, it is essential to note that we are not there yet.
Several types of writing are difficult for AI to do well. As a result, there are many opportunities for professional writers to excel. These include:
- Writing that requires a deep understanding of a subject: AI may produce writing on a basic level, but it is difficult for it to replicate the in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject that a human writer has.
- Writing that requires creativity and nuance: While AI can produce coherent writing and follows a logical structure, it can be difficult to generate genuinely creative writing or convey subtle emotions and ideas.
- Writing that requires a unique voice: Each writer has their own distinct voice, and it is difficult for AI to replicate this. As a result, there will always be a demand for writers who can bring their unique perspective and voice to a piece of writing.
- Writing that requires quick turnaround: In some cases, a client may need a piece of writing produced very quickly, and AI may be unable to meet this demand. In such cases, a human writer may be preferred.
- Technical writing: While AI can produce basic technical writing, it may struggle with more complex technical concepts or the language used in specific industries.
- Marketing and advertising copy: Writing designed to sell a product or service requires a strong understanding of the target audience and the ability to craft compelling arguments. This is an area where AI may struggle.
Back to me now – outside of copywriting, other generative computer programs are muscling in on the graphic and visual arts fields.
For example, the images used in this article and Part 1 were generated by an artificial intelligence tool called MidJourney.
No illustrator, no photo library or photographer was involved.
All I had to do was describe to the software what I wanted and include some styling cues. Midjourney produced four image options, and you can create variations and upscale them when you’re satisfied.
I asked for, “A man smashing a computer with a hammer, in the style of a Victorian engraving”, as I was wanting something that related to the old Luddite movement. These are what it served up, each taking less than a minute. I especially like the guy with three arms (it’s not flawless by any means).
With copywriters’ livelihoods under threat from ChatGPT and illustrators from MidJourney, what about graphic designers? Do we get away unscathed?
Of course not – with Adcreative.ai, you or I can create hundreds of ads for our businesses in seconds just by uploading a logo, colours and some basic information and letting the software do the rest. The software will even rate them for effectiveness.
Is this the end for creatives?
No. Smart designers, writers and marketers will use these tools to help automate repetitive tasks. ChatGPT is extremely good at writing using a logical structure and outlining. Marketers can use it for creating SEO headlines. MidJourney seems to be extremely good at caricatures. Adcreative.ai will undoubtedly take the drudgery out of creating online advertising concepts.
But when technology disrupts the workplace, it is the people using the tools who remain in a job.
It’s up to us as creatives, entrepreneurs, marketers and business owners to choose. Ignore it and hope it goes away before you can retire. Or get on board and embrace the power that AI gives you to create more innovative work.
Moving away from the creative industries, whose jobs are next in line for the chop?
While traditional taxi drivers may be feeling the pinch from the likes of Uber, professional drivers of all kinds will see their jobs dry up when autonomous vehicles hit the road. It’s not just taxis: Uber, Google, and Tesla have all developed their own self-driving HGVs. And drone technology looks set to eliminate vast numbers of delivery jobs. Futurologist Thomas Frey claims that as much as 25% of today’s jobs will disappear due to autonomous vehicles.
Farming is already highly mechanised, and this seems set to continue. A family-owned dairy farm in Germany was one of the first to install Voluntary Milking System robots that allow cows to walk up to the machines at their leisure when they want to be milked. Modern tractors and combine harvesters can now be controlled automatically by GPS, with no driver in sight.
Human financial analysts can no longer compete with artificially intelligent financial analysis software that can read and recognise trends in historical data to predict future market moves. It’s no wonder financial analyst jobs could be the worst hit in the estimated 30% of banking sector jobs lost to AI in the next five to 10 years.
The list of professions under threat is enormous. Insurance underwriters, journalists, banking operatives, retail sales staff, construction workers, manufacturing workers, and even travel agents are in danger from artificial intelligence and new technology.
What do we do about it?
Maybe we could do what the Luddites did in the 1800s – burn down factories and smash new machinery to protect their jobs as textile workers. Unfortunately for them, all they achieved was getting themselves hanged or deported to Australia, so maybe not.
Disruptive technology will continue to cause job losses, but job creation will offset them. Innovative new companies will replace businesses that disappear. Web design was unheard of when I began as a graphic designer in 1989. Seven years later, I became a web designer too.
For this reason, the top three skills needed for the future will be adaptability, flexibility, and resourcefulness.
And as small business owners and entrepreneurs, those are attributes we already possess.