Whether they realize it or not, many people already use or benefit from artificial intelligence (AI) assistance on a daily basis. From the commands they voice to assistive speakers, to the maps used to navigate to specific locations, and the chatbots which answer customer service queries, AI has been well integrated in our lives for many years.
But it is the introduction of open-source foundational models, such as the now-famous ChatGPT, that has made the technology widely accessible for the masses for the first time.
“The generative AI frenzy shows no signs of abating,” says Frances Karamouzis, a distinguished VP analyst at IT research firm and consultancy Gartner, in reference to this specific field of artificial intelligence which focuses on creating computer systems capable of producing original and creative outputs, such as images, text, or music, without direct human intervention.
“Organizations are scrambling to determine how much cash to pour into generative AI solutions, which products are worth the investment, when to get started and how to mitigate the risks that come with this emerging technology,” she adds.
End users are getting on board in their tens of millions too, with ChatGPT hitting the public consciousness like a juggernaut. It has experienced the fastest growth in history for a consumer application, taking just two months to reach over 100 million users.
Compare that to TikTok, which took about nine months post-launch to hit the same benchmark, with Instagram taking even longer at around two and a half years. Google Translate took six and a half years to reach that milestone.
Useful (and fun) as generative AI tools can be, with capabilities to create content that is as diverse as CV and cover letter templates, travel itineraries, amusing poems, realistic imagery or even Python code, their ascendancy has also given rise to a number of fears.
The biggest worry for workers, of course, is whether ChatGPT or another generative AI tool will take their jobs.
Professional services company Accenture’s A new era of generative AI for everyone report says that AI tools such as ChatGPT-4 are a "a significant turning point and milestone in artificial intelligence ... [because] they've cracked the code on language complexity".
Accenture thinks that 40% of all working hours could be impacted by generative AI tools, primarily because language tasks already account for just under two thirds of the total time employees work.
According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2023, jobs such as clerical or secretarial roles, including bank tellers and data entry clerks, are likely to decline. Some legal roles, such as paralegals and legal assistants may be affected, according to a recent Goldman Sachs report.
Traders, financial analysts and personal financial advisors could be impacted too, because some of the tasks they do, such as identifying market trends, can be effectively done by AI. Customer service roles are increasingly being replaced by chatbots as well.
But jobs are also predicted to be created. The WEF predicts a 40% jump in the number of AI and machine learning specialists by 2027, a 30-35% rise in demand for data specialists, and a 31% increase for information security analysts, all of which adds up to 2.6 million jobs.
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Accelerate your career in tech today via the NextPit Job Board. This article was written by Kirstie McDermott.