Future of AI and the Workforce: Reshaping Careers and Democratizing Creativityby@alexlash
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Future of AI and the Workforce: Reshaping Careers and Democratizing Creativity

by Alex LashkovOctober 10th, 2023
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The article explores the transformative impact of AI on the workforce and creativity in 2023. Roman Gordy, founder of Arbonum, discusses unexpected challenges AI presents, its slow adoption, and implications. AI's competition with humans in creative roles surprises, while the majority remains unaware of AI's potential. Lowering entry barriers, simplifying interfaces, and building trust are keys to mass adoption. Governments are cautious, focusing on regulatory frameworks. The middle class faces job displacement, shifting to blue-collar roles. AI's creative limits stem from developer biases, but new possibilities await. Knowledge workers will adapt, emphasizing strategic thinking. AI democratizes the labor market, offering productivity enhancements. While AI poses challenges, it's not the end of the world; humans must harness its potential responsibly. Cultural paradigms influence AI perceptions, and the future remains open to interpretation.
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In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and artificial intelligence, 2023 marked a significant turning point. The founder of Arbonum, a platform that simplifyes working with remote contractors for IT companies, Roman Gordy, offered his unique perspective on the state of AI and its impact on our world.

In this exclusive interview, we explore the surprising challenges AI poses, the hurdles to its mass adoption, and the profound implications for the workforce, governments, and the very essence of creativity itself.

What were expectations around AI before this year’s hype and what really do we live in right now?

2023 is a year of the beginning of competition between ChatGPT / Midjourney and the humans. In some cases the quality of the results generated by AI is already indistinguishable or even better than human freelancers can create.

This came up as a surprise, because before the emerge of AI everyone thought that robots would take over boring and repetitive tasks, but it turned out that AI is competing with humans for creative jobs while humans are still in charge of the boring and routine tasks.

How fast will AI adoption go further?

Currently, no more than 2% of the world’s population to some extent heard of AI, an even smaller number of people understand how it can be used, and an even smaller group of people can actually use it to achieve real results. That's because AI is not at a mass adoption stage.

It is similar to a situation when we would give an iPhone to a person living in 1993. Looks cool, but without the infrastructure, including mobile internet, App Store, app developers, the device could not be used to its full capacity and it would be hard to understand the purpose of it at all. To make the AI the iPhone in 2023, not 1993, we will need to see lots of changes.

What those changes/obstacles to overcome will be?

First, the entry threshold should be lowered. Current chat-based user interfaces are too complex and non-intuitive for most of the non tech-savvy internet users. Midjourney makes millions with an absolutely unfriendly interface. If we remove the intermediary between AI and humans in the form of an interface altogether, then people won't even notice that they are actively using AI in their daily lives.

Second, the AI should give the result faster and easier, with a higher level of trust. Like with Google we just type a query and assume that the first couple of links would contain the answer or we expect Google Maps to show the correct route with no additional input. AI tools should deliver results with the same level of simplicity and trust.

When the simplicity and trust issues will be fixed, that's when a massive transition will happen.

Will governments and officials worldwide welcome this massive transition? Won’t it be similar to the Uber versus European governments and labor unions situation?

Governments and officials won’t be among early AI adopters, for sure. Various types of officials are in charge of digitalization programs. There's a belief that they might be the first to be potentially replaced by artificial intelligence. This is why they are not eager to stimulate the fast implementation of AI. Moreover, we see attempts to regulate and limit the AI and AI developers in various countries worldwide.

However, this isn't a conflict of interest, and officials won't be downsized; instead, at some point they will understand that AI will give them more powerful and precise control tools. So they will mostly focus on forming the legal framework for using AI in business.

For example, currently, many countries worldwide have antitrust laws in place, preventing companies from growing too big so that their size can harm the economy. But what about the situation, when a small company with experts in AI works faster and more efficiently than their competitors with thousands of employees? Shall this competition be somehow limited? And if not, what will prevent this AI-fueled company from becoming a market behemoth very fast, not in terms of headcount, but revenues and impact on the economy. Those are questions to be answered.

In Arbonum, there's a growing trend of actively seeking out the most talented individuals, regardless of their location. These contractors possess a divine spark that remains unmatched by AI, and they command the highest hourly rates through Arbonum. They are independent thinkers, culturally diverse, and highly conscious of how they invest their time. They bring immense value to businesses, and companies have one simple task: to refrain from burdening these qualified workers with unnecessary corporate regulations and lengthy onboarding processes.

We are able to follow a very interesting case now with the American screenwriters guild strike. It is not only because some fantastic achievements they came to but as a precedent itself - AI cannot be considered a screenwriter, and material created by the program will not be considered literary material or a source for a literary work. A screenwriter, on the other hand, can use AI in their work but must inform the studio about it. The studio itself cannot compel the screenwriter to use AI for their material.

What first mass victims of the AI implementation will be?

The middle class, white collars whose intellectual work can be easily replaced by AI and it will be more cost-efficient for the business. This is not possible for blue collar jobs: you cannot replace a plumber with a robot. Well, you actually can, but it will be too expensive and not scalable at all. In contrast, replacing a team of human copywriters with just one editor with ChatGPT is a rational  approach , and it will really work and deliver high ROI instantly.

This means that many of the current white collar workers will have to transition to blue collar jobs to survive. More and more designers and copywriters will become plumbers.

How far along can AI possibly go? Will it be able to create Leonardo DaVinci’s level of creative work?

Currently, AI developers are trying to think as musicians. This might be OK for the beginning, but it also has limitations. Views, very often a lack of empathy, self-censorships and backgrounds of the developers affect the result generated by the AI model.

Some models can fantastically imitate a mediocre art, but we are all waiting to have an ad-hoc genius in our pocket, right?

Today's AI's creative abilities come from endlessly combining existing ideas in new ways. This is the creativity of an adult. It will be interesting to observe when models acquire the creativity of a child - creating something new from nothing, without a rational reason.

It's important how AI development teams will solve the problem of learning degeneration when models start learning from data created by models. Humans know how to enrich the knowledge of their ancestors. I don't know if future generations of AI will be able to do this.

Plus, I’m sure that for some, maybe even quite long, period creative work produced by humans will get additional value just due to this fact. Like vinyl--there is no practical need in it these days, but many find such recordings more warm, cozy, and inspiring.

Is this only one option for knowledge workers: go to blue collar jobs? Are there any other options?

AI cannot create anything without a prompt. “Design something”--this just won’t work. Thus, top-level creative professionals won’t go away. It will be long impossible to replace an experienced PR executive capable of creating a product launch strategy for multiple geographical markets.

For example, when I hear the words "digital nomad," I imagine a single mother with three children, forced to work for three clients seven days a week, ten hours a day, earning less than an average office worker and without any benefits. Very rarely do I picture a traveler who can afford to have a Zoom call from Sydney in the morning and meet a client in Auckland in the evening. But it became an attractive role model for many - hail to PR teams - those teams won’t be replaced with AI due to their ability to create meanings, even though they were hired not by pr. Dumbldore. Those super-specialists with extensive and strategic thinking, capable of inventing meanings, not just products, will rise to the rank of AI priests.

I created and am developing Arbonum so that real, not Instagram-based, digital nomads have the opportunity to plan their lives a little further ahead. Biologically, we are born with different natural data, but then we should all have equal opportunities to do good deeds.

In my opinion, AI gives us exactly this. Despite making competition for creative jobs more fierce, it also removes borders and democratizes the labor market. Now, if you have talent, can add value by your creative work, then using AI will only make you more productive.

So, no end of the world as we know it for now?

For me, it's evident that a 100% rational AI will evaluate human behavior over the last 1000 years and draw conclusions that nobody will like. We still have a chance though by bringing more goodness to each other to learn to model we are not so bad as a species.

Moreover, in the Abrahamic value system, humans always want to expand the capabilities of their body and mind to influence other people, to have power over others. Therefore, the development of AI is initially seen as just an extension of ourselves. This paradigm is always on the lookout for a doomsday trigger. Some consider AGI as a new potential cause of catastrophe for this very reason. It’s just in the European cultural background. Imagine if the world had a different paradigm, like ancient China; would AGI make any sense at all if your neighbor is Confucius?