ChatGPT Isn’t Coming for Your Job (Yet)
When ChatGPT was introduced to the general public at the end of last year, many people began to fear that artificial intelligence (A.I.) might soon make their job obsolete.
Of course, horse-and-buggy-makers are gone, and farming requires something like one-hundredth of the labor input it used to. That’s a good thing: Professions have gone extinct for centuries. New jobs emerge in the wake of old ones. A reshuffled labor market requires workers to gain different skills, while companies focus on solving different problems. That can be tough if you’re in your mid-50s and on the receiving end of that technological shift, but it’s not a catastrophic obstacle for economies at large.
Up until now, machines had been unable to venture into the creative domains long deemed human: the realms of emotion, compassion, creativity, and personality. There are few bestselling novels written by a computer, A.I.-powered inspirational speakers, or robots providing psychological help to clients in need. Some people now fear that A.I. will learn even these soft skills.
Economist Nouriel Roubini devotes a chapter in MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, and How To Survive Them to A.I. He lists example after example of robots inching closer to overtaking humans at our own game. “What happens,” he asks, “when that technology is actually intelligent? … No matter what work you do, artificial intelligence might eventually do it better.” Surely a robot can’t connect with an opera audience, or mimic writing that creates that magic bond between author and reader.
With this in mind, I looked at two programs in my own fields of writing and translation: OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the text-generative A.I. that made such a social media splash in the last two months, and DeepL, developed by a German startup that just raised money at a $1 billion valuation. Both indicate that there’s some
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