Should You Fear Artificial Intelligence Taking Your Job? Probably Not. – The American
The media has overblown the potential havoc artificial intelligence could wreak on workers, especially those in the service industry. In spite of recent fear-mongering, AI will not limit opportunities for entry-level workers.
A series of viral TikTok videos from February showed the shortcomings of artificial intelligence when deployed in customer-facing roles such as cashiers, casting doubt on whether the current iteration of the technology poses a serious threat to overtaking the workforce.
In one video, a TikTok user with the handle @themadivlog recorded herself struggling to place a McDonald’s order for a vanilla ice cream through the restaurant’s artificial intelligence. Instead of vanilla ice cream, the artificial intelligence placed an order for a caramel sundae. Each time she tried to correct the order, the artificial intelligence screwed it up even more. Eventually, she got frustrated enough that she drove off without an ice cream. She is far from alone. Several other TikTok users documented their struggles in trying to order from the AI software at McDonald’s. The AI screwed up many simple orders, including ringing up nine sweet teas for a customer who wanted a Coke and charging a customer for $200’s worth of McNuggets.
Companies outside of the fast food sector have also struggled to use artificial intelligence to fully automate their operations. Although ChatGPT’s writing capabilities have garnered substantial media attention for acing college essays and passing Wharton exams, it seems to have a fatal flaw: it routinely makes up facts.
CNET, an online news site on consumer electronics, discovered this the hard way when it used ChatGPT to write articles. The AI consistently made substantial factual errors in its generated articles. In one article about compounding interest, ChatGPT, according to Futurism, claimed that a savings account with $10,000 at an annual 3 percent interest rate would accrue $10,300 in interest after a year. The actual earned interest would be $300.
CNET’s editor-in-chief issued a statement explaining the company’s decision to write over 70 articles with artificial intelligence, saying that they wanted to see if AI could “assist” their already-busy writers, allowing them to focus more on analysis pieces and higher-quality content.
It’s clear from these examples that AI will not replace human workers now, and the jury is still out on whether AI will ever advance to the point of successfully taking entry-level jobs in the future. Even as the technology improves, AI will produce far more opportunities than it will eliminate.
According to Harvard Business Review, the emergence of artificial intelligence technology marks a huge opportunity for entry-level workers who stand to gain as many as 97 million new opportunities. As many of these positions will be more complex, they will likely be both more fulfilling to workers and more lucrative, as newcomers won’t have to compete with more senior peers. Far from pushing workers out of the workforce, according to Harvard Business Review, artificial intelligence will lift them higher.
Artificial Intelligence won’t be taking your job anytime soon — it isn’t sophisticated enough to do so. And even as innovators improve these technologies, the job market will only continue to expand for entry-level workers. New opportunities will be on the horizon.
Corey Walker is a freelance reporter from Detroit, Michigan. He writes about technology, innovation, energy, and urbanism.
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