I am a writer by heart and a communicator by profession. Both are industries that generative AI has disrupted like a tornado over the past few months.
Am I going to be replaced in the workforce by generative AI?
When I asked this question to the Notion AI tool, this is the answer I got:
“It’s difficult to predict the future, but it’s possible that AI could replace certain aspects of your job in the near future. However, AI is not capable of replicating the creativity, empathy, and human touch that comes with being a writer and communicator. It’s important to stay up-to-date with new developments in the industry and continue to develop your skills and expertise to stay relevant in the field.”
Please allow me to flex my human muscle and add some value to this answer.
Jobs lost, jobs gained, jobs changed
The best answer I found to this question is from James Manyika, now SVP at Google and formerly at Mckinsey, who has led detailed research into the impact of AI and jobs automation:
“I would summarize it with this notion of jobs lost, jobs gained, and jobs changed — because I think all those three things will happen. How much they happen is entirely a function of sectors, of job occupation categories, of the progress we’ll see in AI, robotics, and other automation systems,” he says in a recent interview.
Research shows that only 10% of jobs will completely disappear, because those jobs can be fully automated.
Other jobs will change, as we will have to learn how to work with AI and machine learning. Research shows that of 2000+ work activities under 800+ occupations listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60% of those occupation categories will see 1/3rd of their constituent tasks automated in the coming decades.
And, new jobs — occupations that don’t yet exist but will exist because of the impact of technology — will be gained.
So in my case, as a writer and communications professional, my job will change; or the way I do my job will change, rather. And this will likely be the case for majority of us.
We need to learn how to maximize the use of generative AI tools so that we can do our jobs better and faster.
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Here are some ways to use generative AI to be more productive in your job:
- If you have a job where you are writing lots of emails: Entering simple prompts in tools like Chat GPT or Notion AI and letting it write the emails for you is a huge time-saver.
Here is an example. I put this prompt in Notion’s AI:
Write me an email to procurement expressing my disagreement with the supplier they have asked us to go with.
This is the unedited outcome:
Dear Procurement Team,
I would like to express my disagreement with the decision to choose [Supplier Name] as our supplier for [Product/Service]. After reviewing their proposal, I believe that there are better options available in terms of quality, price, and overall value.
I understand that the procurement process can be complex, and I appreciate the effort that the team has put into evaluating different suppliers. However, I strongly believe that we should not compromise on the quality of the products/services we procure, as this can have a significant impact on our business operations and reputation.
I would like to request that we revisit our decision and consider other options before moving forward with [Supplier Name]. I am happy to provide additional information and support in this process.
Thank you for your understanding.
Pretty amazing, right? It took 1 second for the tool to give me this, and it actually does not need edits!
- If you have a job where you need to write a lot: It is remarkably easy how quickly you can write using generative AI. So if you are in marketing or communications, and need to write something quickly in which you do not need to put your heart and soul, use generative AI.
- If you need quick content summaries: Say you have not had the time to read a report before a meeting, copy-paste the text of it into an AI tool, and it will give you a short summary of the report in a second. At least you will have some idea of it before your meeting. Similarly, if you need to give your boss or management a summary of something quickly, use the tool and you will be able to whip it up in less than a few minutes
- Idea generation: Every job requires coming up with ideas. AI tools can make things faster, imagine it as a team you are brainstorming with.
Here is a prompt I put into Notion’s AI:
Give me some ideas on how to encourage my team to recycle.
Below is what I got, unedited.
Encouraging your team to recycle is an important way to reduce waste and promote sustainability. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Provide clear and visible recycling bins throughout the workspace, making it easy for team members to recycle.
- Offer incentives for team members who consistently recycle or come up with innovative ways to reduce waste.
- Educate your team on the importance of recycling and its impact on the environment.
- Consider implementing a composting program in your workplace to reduce food waste.
- Partner with local recycling programs or organizations to promote sustainability efforts beyond the workplace.
Not a bad place to begin, hey?
- Social media content creation: Tweets, Linkedin posts, Instagram captions, it will write anything for you. It will even create campaigns for you!
Prompt: Write me a Linkedin post calling for applications for the job of a social media executive with 3 years of work experience.
See unedited outcome below.
We’re hiring! We’re looking for a social media executive with at least 3 years of experience to join our team. Do you have a passion for social media and a track record of creating engaging content? Apply now and help us take our social media presence to the next level! #socialmedia #hiring #executiveposition
- Improve your writing: Look at all the things Notion’s AI tool can help you with!
- Image & video creation for marketing: You can write the description of an image you want and generative AI will create it for you. Same goes for videos — I haven’t tried this yet so not sure of the quality.
Prompt (Jasper Art): Create an image of poodle that is wearing a hat and eating an ice cream
Voila! Who needs photoshop?
- Text to audio creation for voice-overs: You no longer need to schedule and pay $$$ for voice-overs for any video, recordings or presentations.
Try https://murf.ai/ to explore AI voices for any requirement.
- If you are a designer, learn to use tools to design better: You can create a brand identity you love with the power of AI. Try https://looka.com/ to make a logo and brand book in minutes.
- Edit images without photoshop: We all have situations at work or with our kids where we could do with a quick edit of an image. This tool helps you remove any unwanted objects or people from photos in seconds https://cleanup.pictures/.
I could go on and on. Here is a great resource of more tools that you can start with. Best thing is, most of them are free to try.
Limitations of generative AI
The quality and accuracy of what AI and machine learning tools are hit and miss. Chat GPT for example, works on pre-existing specific data-sets; it can only offer advice and knowledge on issues within its domain. It is often only as good as the prompt you give it and it still cannot answer all questions.
For example, it can only think under pre-specified parametres. Stephen Pinker has a great article on this that I recommend you read when you have time. An example from the article:
When I asked ChatGPT, “If Mabel was alive at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., was she alive at noon?” it responded, “It was not specified whether Mabel was alive at noon. She’s known to be alive at 9 and 5, but there’s no information provided about her being alive at noon.”
Worth reading on the limitations of AI is the paperclip maximizer, a thought experiment by Nick Bostrom in 2003 demonstrating the extreme intelligence of AI as well as its profound stupidity. A fun and easy to read version of it is here.
Anyway, this is an unintended super long article which I clearly got carried away writing, so my last words on it for now :)
We must learn to work with new technologies
Being able to do things quickly and communicate effectively is a fundamental requirement no matter what job you are doing.
We need to learn to work with the tools that are available to us or we will become redundant.