By Kevin Norquay of

No caption

OpenAI released its newest ChatGPT version, amid fears the technologies will claim standard jobs.
Photo: JOAO LUIZ BULCAO

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be as revolutionary as the World-wide-web, with the prospective for it to take prime jobs. But eventually it will also be a highly effective tool to light a fire beneath our beleaguered workforce.

That is the verdict professionals gave Stuff this week as OpenAI released its newest ChatGPT version, amid fears the technologies will claim standard jobs.

There is no doubt AI “will be as revolutionary as fire, electrical energy, or the World-wide-web”, says AI Professor Albert Bifet​, director of Waikato university’s Artificial Intelligence Institute. “All places will be impacted.”

And it is not just the traditionally low paid perform that can now be completed by machines (like supermarket checkouts and self-service machines at restaurants).

“ChatGPT has the prospective to automate higher-paying jobs ahead of automating low-paying jobs. I consider that is the surprising point, mainly because everyone was pondering, yeah, we’re going to automate 1st the low paid jobs, they are the ones that are going to disappear. We had been pondering only robotics.

“But no, no, no – it is some thing new, it is revolutionary. It can do issues that had been not attainable ahead of. It is going to rethink almost everything. We can truly automate most tasks and enhance productivity.”

AI chatbot ChatGPT will open the way to new applications, as it is “generative” making use of Reinforcement Finding out from Human Feedback to accumulate information.

After taught, ChatGPT can create letters, books, essays, education documents, proofread, and answer buyer assistance queries.

Ask it what jobs AI (or machine studying) can replace, it will inform you it is right here “to augment and strengthen particular job roles”.

[LB

As AI learns, it will make inroads into areas humans occupy.

US magazine Business Insider has a long list of jobs which could be captured by AI tide: coders, programmers, software engineers, data analysts; advertising, content creation, technical writing and journalism.

Also on the AI hit list: reading and analysing legal documents, market research analysts, teachers (ChatGPT is already teaching classes in the US), financial analysts and traders, and graphic designers.

All can be done much faster with AI.

But it can’t do things that require a lot of critical thinking, Albert Bifet says.

“I think it’s very important … it’s not that AI is replacing humans, it is that augmented intelligence, these tools, can help us to improve how we do things.”

So fear not, workers in jobs that require empathy, emotional intelligence and critical thought. Like creatives (artists, writers, musicians, designers, choreographers, art directors), or people who work with others who have emotional needs, therapists, social workers, and teachers.

While AI machines make brilliant chess players, reasoning, decision-making and problem-solving are hard to replicate, so lawyers, doctors, scientists, and firefighters can stand at ease.

They also can’t manage or be leaders, make decisions or have interpersonal skills or empathy – so we can also rule out mental health workers, nurses, clergy, and coaches.

Physical skill combined with problem-solving is tough for a machine, so don’t worry, tradies. Hands-on manipulation used by oral surgeons, makeup artists, and chiropractors is also out.

Bifet urges people to embrace the technology and says if anything, AI will create new jobs – just like previous industrial revolutions: 1800s mechanisation, then alloys, lighter metals, plastics and new energy sources, thirdly digital computers.

“I don’t think we are going to eliminate jobs,” says Bifet. “We are going to transform and create new ones. In say 10 years we’re going to have new jobs, but it’s very hard to imagine right now… they will certainly be leveraging AI tools.

“We’re going to see a lot of new products. New companies are going to appear because there is a new way to do things, a much more efficient way. The key to success for New Zealand is to invest in research in AI, so that we are not users of AI but developers of AI. Other countries are already aware of that.”

AI is attractive for employers. Swift at analysing data and patterns, it doesn’t get tired or bored, doesn’t need to take leave, or sick days, and can work 24/7 without complaining.

But it gets things wrong, or has yet to be taught what is right. Generative AI, with reinforcement learning from human feedback, generates new outputs – so it’s still learning.

James Parr, chief executive of UK-based Trillium Technologies (running the AI Lab, FDL.ai), is at the AI forefront, using it for tasks such as exploring space for signs of life, mapping floods, and predicting the spread of bush fires.

In 2022, it developed a machine to look at a molecular sample on an alien planet to determine whether or not it’s “life, Jim, but not as we know it”, the Kiwi ex-pat says.

“AI is just fancy statistics. Most of us have nothing to fear regarding job losses. Unless you like taking meeting notes. But… like that fishing buddy with the tall stories, you can’t quite trust everything it says. Being overly trusting of AI is actually the thing we need to be wary about.”

President of the Paris-based International Science Council, Kiwi Sir Peter Gluckman​ this month said AI had placed the world at a “tipping point”, in which technology may be beyond our control, but Parr says the fuss is overblown.

“It’s a little bit like the people who thought we wouldn’t be able to breathe if trains went above 25 miles an hour. In reality, it will just allow people to do things they’re already doing, faster.

“If you are a chef, you could take a photo of a meal, and the AI can write out a delicious sounding description in the style of a Michelin star restaurant – great for impressing dinner guests.

“Generative AI will help you write that book you’ve always wanted to write. It allows you to make meeting notes, send a list of bullet points and actions to people on your Zoom meeting.

“Soon, it will be able to control the apps you use – so you can spend less time buried in Excel macros or PowerPoint templates and more time solving problems that need human thought.”

Parr appears to be right about accuracy.

Ask ChatGPT about yourself, and it proudly lists books you’ve never written, awards you’ve never won, and proclaims your wife owns a company she’s never heard of.

Auckland doctor Reza Jarral has pioneered virtual health in New Zealand, delivering healthcare over distance, while working on the ethics of using AI in the medical field, alongside the World Health Organisation.

His CareHQ platform uses telemedicine and clinical informatics to help improve healthcare access, providing to those who have no access to a GP.

Jarral says AI will likely change jobs in a way that is good for the human workforce.

“Like every revolution before it, there’ll be a shift in scope of work. Hopefully, society can bring displaced workforces on this journey, to deliver more rewarding, fulfilling work that’s more equitable. But the drivers for capitalism don’t necessarily incentivise that, so we’ll see where it goes,” he says.

“Machine learning can now solve discrete problems reliably, but only in very specific and narrow boxes. You can’t present it with broad problems, or change its data input from what it was trained on, then expect it to respond using general adaptive intelligence, like a human might … it will either underperform or break, and in healthcare that can cause serious harm.

“[For example], you can train a classifier on a single skin colour to detect cancerous skin lesions. If you apply it to a various skin colour that you have not educated it on, it will not detect abnormal skin lesions with acceptable accuracy.”

An emphasis on healthcare security signifies Jarral cannot see physicians getting replaced.

AI is low on emotional intelligence, hopeless at touch and really feel tasks, much less inventive than humans (although American Pie songwriter Don McLean backs it to create a cracking pop song), but, it is a highly effective tool, with even universities beginning to accept it.

University of Sydney healthcare science students this week employed ChatGPT to compose an essay, the university saying it necessary to perform with the technologies, not fight it. Students had been asked to study what the robot created, edit its response, track their alterations and submit a final draft for marking.

It was intended to test students’ capacity to exercising judgement and be inventive, abilities that would be needed in their expert lives, rather than merely collating details.

Like Jarral, Trillium boss James Parr is vexed by ethical challenges, saying AI is “ripe for exploitation by nefarious actors”.

“The dilemma of generative AI outputs delivered with authority, by a charming avatar, is a genuine conundrum for AI ethicists,” Parr says.

“Consider if every single touchpoint you have with a generative AI is gradually, subtly, imperceptibly, migrating you to a different point of view (in some cases identified as ‘nudge theory’).”

On balance although, Parr, Jarral and Bifet all see AI as a highly effective force for great.

Parr hopes it will support far better handle the planet as it heats up, and help far better selection-generating.

Jarral is keen to unlock the apparent added benefits, and stay clear of some of the apparent pitfalls.

“The reality is we are quick of physicians and nurses. By 2030, five billion persons in the planet will not have access to standard requirements of healthcare,” he says. And we’ll be about 13 million wellness care pros quick of exactly where we want to be by 2035.

“We want to discover automated tools that utilise telemedicine, alongside judicious ​machine studying to fill these gaps in a protected, dependable, accountable way.

“There will constantly be a human in the loop for the security factors and also the medic-legal elements, mainly because you want to answer legal queries of who’s accountable. In healthcare you would want a human in there to take general ownership of care.”

Let’s give ChatGPT the final word, by asking no matter if it is just after my job.

“Though AI has created substantial advancements in all-natural language processing and generation, it is unlikely to totally replace human journalists in the close to future,” ChatGPT tells Stuff.

But, when is the close to future?

“Anyplace from a couple of years to various decades.”

Excellent.

By Editor