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AI Forum

Rise of the machines: Is AI going to take your job?

Images of driverless buses and robot waiters may make workers nervous, but an artificial intelligence (AI) expert says most jobs are safe – for now.

However, AI would “absolutely” change how people worked and the tasks they performed over the next decade, AI Forum of New Zealand chief executive Madeline Newman​ said.

“Technology is always changing and the jobs we do change with it. But In today’s world, AI works best as a partner alongside humans rather than replacing them.”

AI was already helping humans do their jobs better and make better decisions in many areas, including health diagnostics, Newman said.

In radiology, for example, AI could help improve the quality of X-rays, enhancing the images and potentially identifying fractures not visible to the naked eye.

“This technology can lead to better, faster, more effective diagnosis but AI is not about replacing medical specialists.

“It is about how New Zealand can better use of precious resources especially at a time of massive health skills shortages.”

The recent launch of the ChatGPT platform had created a buzz around potential impacts on some professions like content writing, marketing and law, but whether it could lead to mass job losses wasn’t yet clear, Newman said.

OpenAI’s free writing tool is part of a new generation of machine-learning systems that can converse, generate readable text on demand and produce novel images and video based on what they’ve learnt from a vast database of digital books, online writings and other media.

“It is still relatively new and developing technology so how advanced it might get, we don’t know,” Newman said.

“At the moment it is helpful for workers and in most cases, it’s not a replacement for them.”

The exception to that was in the technology sector, where ChatGPT had improved the efficiency of coders to such an extent that some had been laid off, Newman said.

“ChatGPT can actually increase productivity of coders by 10 times. Working alongside coders, it can suggest the next line of code and that means fewer coders have been needed at some companies.”

In contrast, manufacturing firms which adopted advanced AI technology didn’t tend to lose staff but increased their efficiency and productivity, she said.

“AI is really good at creating business efficiencies. If you think about an aeroplane, its maintenance schedule is based on all sorts of technical information fed back into the system as it’s used.

“When you apply that same method to a factory, you can reduce downtime and improve efficiency.”

In many cases, the use of advanced AI in manufacturing led to more staff training, higher salaries, and improved site safety, Newman said.

“All of those things are important, particularly when you take into account that manufacturing is the largest employer of Pasifika people in New Zealand and the second-largest employer of Māori.”

Newman said it was important for workers, regardless of the field they were in, to keep up to date with changing technology.

“Yes, you’re going to be doing a different version of your job in 10 years, but that was always going to be the case. I don’t think anyone expects to be doing the exact same job in 10 years’ time.”

Orignal Source: Stuff | Rise of the machines: Is AI going to take your job?

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