Reader, Will AI Claim Your Livelihood? 🤷🏾‍♂️

Are you ready for AI Reader?

For as long as I can remember, my mother had donned the uniform of a nurse. For decades, she devoted her life to the well-being of patients at the Children's Hospital in Washington D.C., unfailingly working through the challenging weekend midnight shifts. Her perseverance and commitment saw her amass a comfortable retirement fund over the years.

As she got older and my father passed, I urged her to retire, to take a breather and perhaps revisit her childhood home in Antigua (in a luxury vacation home for the whole family ideally).

She, however, relentlessly carried on, insisting that the tranquility of retirement would bore her. The one thing that eventually prompted her decision to retire wasn’t an overwhelming desire for relaxation or (as she tells it) the birth of her first grandchild. The truth is an unassuming piece of technology drove her to resign: the iPad.

💼 The iPad Took My Job

When the hospital decided to incorporate iPads into their standard operations, my mother was not about it at all! Not particularly tech-savvy, she found the iPad a difficult contraption to handle, as she cursed it in her heavy Caribbean accent. More importantly, she harbored a genuine belief that this new piece of technology was inferior to the traditional pen and paper she was used to.

She had the luxury to sidestep this technological innovation and transition into a life of retirement. But what about those pushed out who needed to find another job or line of work? Our generation's “iPad” adapt or die scenario is the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

🧠 AI and Its Journey: A Blast From The Past

While working at Facebook in 2016, I was deeply involved in harnessing the capabilities of AI … years ago. AI is not a new and novel concept. It's been a part of your life for years, discreetly powering a plethora of tasks ranging from identifying friends and family in photos to processing customer queries. You can even access an AI Google Assistant, call a shop and make an appointment…this technology was revealed five years ago.

So why has AI recently found itself at the forefront of every conversation and news article? Why is someone like Elon Musk, known for his innovative ventures, issuing words of caution against the rapid progression of AI?

💬 ChatGPT: A Milestone in AI Evolution

ChatGPT was the first killer “AI” product. Although AI chatbots and text generation have been around awhile, ChatGPT made AI approachable, precise, and simple to use. ChatGPT has taken the capabilities of AI up a notch—from crafting emails to preparing legal documents, writing computer code, troubleshooting software, and much more.

As discussions around AI gain momentum, one question repeatedly comes up: Will AI take away our jobs?

A real question that is causing real reactions by potentially impacted workers. Take the ongoing strike by the Writer's Guild for example. One of their key demands is to ban generative AI in the film industry. The fear is real, that AI could take their jobs, in an already tough industry. Depending on who you listen to, AI will make all of our lives easier and better … or it will be the downfall of humanity and our jobs. So what are you to do?

🌊 Navigating the Tides of Technological Change

It's a well-observed fact that every major technological advancement results in significant changes in the job market. This means the displacement of certain jobs and the creation of new ones. For instance, calculators took over the roles of human number crunchers (e.g. Hidden Figures), Uber reshaped the taxi industry, and robots have gradually replaced assembly line workers in factories.

Yet, the advent of these disruptive technologies also breeds new opportunities and jobs. The industrial age led to a surge in city jobs with good pay. Uber created opportunities for those who never thought they could earn money driving or as a side hustle. And the digital revolution, through the advent of computers and software engineering jobs, democratized wealth accumulation, a privilege previously reserved for the banking and finance industry.

AI has the ability to significantly improve the earning potential of many as they learn new skills and use these tools to become more productive. You need to love and embrace the iPad instead of holding on to your notebook and refusing to change.

🔮 Embracing Change: Our Best Bet

The secret to surviving and thriving in this rapidly changing environment doesn't necessarily lie in earning a degree in AI. It's more about understanding how this technology can augment your job and being aware of the roles it might make obsolete. The only guarantee in life is that change is inevitable. Adapting to change is not just about survival; it's about seizing new opportunities and flourishing in the face of disruption.

So, are you ready to embrace the changes AI brings and carve out your niche in this new world? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

- Damien "Change is the Only Constant" Peters