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Chamber Chat with John O’Neill

To AI or not to AI?

There’s a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the media and government circles recently. Whether it’s going to be the saviour, or the enslaver is the subject of many conversations but that’s really for the future although it is right that we start the discussions early. In fact, there was a recent summit of world leaders in Bletchley Park earlier this month; that’s how serious people are taking this issue.

We see many articles in the media about apps such as “AI” Chat GPT and its competitors doing the heavy lifting for students, writers, and others using these new tools as an aide whether it be in their learning, professional or social spheres. In reality, though, these apps are nothing more than clever programming tools that have scraped every bit of available information out there to form a coherent argument.

Is that what we want though? I could have turned to one of these apps and asked for 300 words on AI and it would have produced them. But they wouldn’t have been my thoughts, or words – just a conglomeration of facts and phrases made up from a web scape. What defines us is our personality – our thoughts, feelings and actions.

I guess real AI will come when the machines become almost sentient and have the ability to really do the work of humans without human input. Perhaps there’s a movie or two in there.

Professor Stephen Hawking warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity”.

We are not at the stage where the machines are going to take over the world….yet. In the meantime, we have a lot more immediate issues to deal with. I might ask one of the apps to see if they could replicate the above, just for fun.

John is the Chamber Manager. He is also the manager of the Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID)

Addendum: In fact, I asked a the Microsoft bot to write ‘Write 300 words about how AI will change the world of work and how it will affect people’ It couldn’t complete the task in 300 words and but I have copied it below. Compare away.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to revolutionize the world of work. AI is already being used in many industries to automate tasks and improve efficiency. In the future, AI will continue to change the way we work and live.

One of the most significant ways AI will change the world of work is by automating many jobs that are currently done by humans. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, generative AI is estimated to eventually automate millions of jobs 1However, the same report also suggests that AI will create more jobs than it will displace 1. Businesses responding to the survey expect artificial intelligence to be a net job creator in the coming five years. Nearly half (49%) of companies expect adopting AI to create jobs, well ahead of the 23% of respondents who expect it to displace jobs 1The ranks of AI-linked roles such as data scientists, big data specialists, and business intelligence analysts are expected to swell by 30 to 35%, with growth nearer 45% in companies operating in China 1.

AI will also change the nature of work by augmenting human capabilities. AI can help humans perform tasks more efficiently and accurately, freeing up time for more creative and complex work. For example, AI can help doctors diagnose diseases more accurately and quickly, allowing them to spend more time with patients 2AI can also help lawyers review legal documents more quickly and accurately, allowing them to focus on more complex legal work 2.

However, AI will also have a significant impact on the workforce. Many jobs that are currently done by humans will become obsolete, and new jobs will be created that require different skills. Workers will need to adapt to these changes by learning new skills and retraining. Governments and businesses will need to invest in education and training programs to help workers acquire the skills they need to succeed in the new economy.

In conclusion, AI will change the world of work in many ways. It will automate many jobs that are currently done by humans, but it will also create new jobs that require different skills. AI will augment human capabilities, allowing us to perform tasks more efficiently and accurately. However, AI will also have a significant impact on the workforce, and workers will need to adapt to these changes by learning new skills and retraining. Governments and businesses will need to invest in education and training programs to help workers acquire the skills they need to succeed in the new economy.