Artificial intelligence. Just the initials AI send shock waves through the minds of many. Generative AI, only on most people's radar since November of 2022, now leads the revolution. According to a McKinsey study conducted in April this year, one-third of those polled say their organizations are already using generative AI for at least one business function.
Four out of every ten say their company is making plans to invest even more heavily in generative AI as the technology improves in leaps and bounds. The genie is out of the bottle. It simply remains to see what wishes – or queries – corporations will send its way.
The age of artificial intelligence is upon us, and with anything new comes a certain amount of fear of the unknown — questions about job security and business viability fuel these fears. These fears are confirmed once we see a business replacing workers with AI.
Some companies are moving in this direction to increase their profit at the expense of employees. Others hope to use AI to benefit the company and its workers. Many have already implemented these tools without resorting to reducing their human workforce.
A Valuable Asset
“AI has emerged as a valuable asset, augmenting efficiency, productivity, and decision-making processes,” says Epos Now Operations Director Charlie Wright. “Data analysis and insights have been a prominent area where AI has excelled.” He suggests that these new AI additions make the job easier and uncover things human workers may have missed. It's understandable that with this type of efficiency, humans working in similar fields may be concerned for their future job safety.
While efficiency is important in some fields, others that require a personal or creative touch are also being affected by applications such as ChatGPT. These programs continue to advance, leading many writers to wonder how long they will have their jobs. The current reality of these systems is that they have advantages in creating ideas, making suggestions, and article titles.
However, allow AI to do all the work, and the end result is usually a cookie-cutter style piece with the personality of an ice cube. It can be a considerable advantage for businesses that know how to implement it correctly and speed up processes that take away from the creative without losing the human element.
AI Has Its Place
One content marketing company openly uses AI but is not replacing its workforce with what AI produces. “We normally use ChatGPT, but it does not write the content for us,” says Chris Nddie, Co-Founder and CEO of Clothing Ric. “Our content marketers use the platform to write an outline for them, and they generate the content around it. This way, ChatGPT gives the marketers a critical path to success while the marketers breathe life into the content.”
Many business owners and CEOs have suggested that AI can enhance employee jobs. Joe Davies, the founder of Fat Joe's SEO marketing company, says they let the employees choose the AI tools they implement. “One of our favorite AI tools is Sonix AI, which enables us to transcribe meetings and interviews. This has saved us hours and hours of mind-numbing transcriptions.”
“Our core selling point is that we produce human content,” says Davies. “We simply can't let AI replace us, particularly as we specialize in working with a range of niche industries (healthcare, science, and tech). Ultimately, it takes the strain away from our staff on the boring transactional stuff, enabling them to be more creative. And who doesn't want to be more creative?”
While most CEOs suggest that employees have welcomed these tools with open arms, some workers disagree.
“My last assignment was to clean up behind an AI content generator we called MEL,” says Wealth of Geeks writer Michael Pollick. “MEL could ingest a list of 5 products based on Amazon sales and create a complete product review in two minutes or less. Creating a similar article from scratch would take me at least two hours. Working with MEL as a human editor at least spelled job security, but limited creativity.”
The concern is that, eventually, AI will learn to replicate the human voice and render humans irrelevant.
Content Manager Ezra Cabrera of SMB Compass confirms that they use ChatGPT to create entire articles but have writers review and double-check the application's information. This method is great for quickly producing content but not so fantastic for writers looking for a more fulfilling role.
On the other hand, Davies says, “People are excited at using AI, particularly if it helps them improve their work and enable them to be more creative.”
It's All About Balance
The truth is that many jobs have become obsolete over time because of technological advances, and humanity has always had an outcry to save them somehow. While people protest the use of self-checkouts, for example, instead of cashiers, the reality is that these people can be more useful in other areas of the store and make the business more efficient. In the same way, AI tools can be implemented to improve a business. Things that can replace repetitious tasks or spot and correct human error have advantages.
Any field that requires expert knowledge or a human touch still needs some input from employees — the level of human touch appears to be entirely up to the management. Sometimes, finding that balance that works for both business and employees makes the difference between an ethically minded company or one just in it for the money. It's up to the consumer and client to decide what type of business they would rather support.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Ree Winter is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle journalist. She is an Australian who enjoys traveling the globe and currently calls New Orleans home. Her byline appears in The Thrillist, Inside the Magic, The Streamable, Mashed, The Daily Meal, Apartment Advisor, and Weekend Notes. Fellow Australians may have seen her printed work in The Geelong Advertiser and Docklands News. Besides this, she follows her passions in history and travel plus will gladly admit to being a crazy cat lady.