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- Is ChatGPT Coming to Take Your Job? - February 6, 2023
Back in 2006, when we were about to graduate from engineering school, our biggest fear was having our tech jobs outsourced to India.
Which, as it turns out, wasn’t unfounded considering how many jobs in my last company did get outsourced to Indian developers. I mean, how are you supposed to compete when they can work remotely for a measly $5/hour? And not only that, one of them even willingly missed the birth of their own child because he was on call for an “urgent production issue.” He never complained.
But now, there’s an even bigger threat. A threat so big even the Indian developers are terrified of losing their jobs.
Enter ChatGPT, a chatbot launched by the company OpenAI in November 2022 and took over the internet with 1 million new users in just one week. And at the time of this writing, its user base has grown to 100 million users in less than 3 months.
ChatGPT, which stands for “Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer” (Geez, I hope the company didn’t use the bot to come up with its own name), can not only mimic a writer’s voice and come up with well researched articles within seconds, it can also simplify and explain quantum physics, fix bugs in code, and have a convincing conversation with you without breaking a sweat.
ChatGPT even managed to pass prestigious STEM exams like the United States Medical Licensing Exam, law exams in four courses at the University of Minnesota, and the Wharton MBA Exam!
It’s only going to get better and more advanced over time.
Anyone else getting scary Skynet vibes from this? Might as well bow down to our robot overlords now, knowing that ChatGPT could very well be our virtual doctors, lawyers, engineers, and business analysts in the future.
In fact, Microsoft believes in the technology so much that they’ve invested as much as $10 billion in OpenAI, after laying off 10,000 employees. I’m sure that made their laid off workers feel great. Clearly, they’re not hurting for cash, but if your skills can easily be replaced by a chatbot who never stops working, doesn’t need vacation or benefits, and never complains, get the hell out.
This immediately reminded me about the layoffs at my last job, which happened despite the company reporting $2 billion dollars in profit that year. No matter how skilled you are, no matter how secure your think your job is, no job is 100% secure and no employee is irreplicable.
And now with the rounds of layoffs happing at Meta, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Salesforce, it’s more important than ever to save up enough FU money so that when (not if) the hammer falls, it’ll be a blessing rather than a curse.
I have no idea how many jobs ChatGPT could replace in the future, but these fields are the most vulnerable:
CNET and Buzzfeed have already started using ChatGPT to write articles. The technology is still prone to glitches and factual inaccuracies so human editors still need to vet the content, but as ChatGPT learns and improves over time, more and more media and news outlets could use this technology to save time and produce high volumes of content with little effort. After all, why pay a writer hundred to thousands of dollars to write an article that takes hours when ChatGPT can do it within seconds with no holidays or benefits needed.
Real-estate agents have been using ChatGPT to write copy for their listings since November and already some say “they can’t imagine working without it now“. All you need to do is type a few keywords into the tool and in less than 5 seconds, it’ll generate a polished description of the listing, sprinkling in just the right marketing phrases like “ideal for entertaining” and “provides ample space for relaxation” that will fool anyone into thinking it was written by an actual human.
For simpler, standardized curriculums like those in grade school and high school, ChatGPT could easily be trained to teach it. It can explain mathematical problems, give examples, perform a variety of calculations, and solve equations. It can access large amounts of information and summarize it in a simplified, easy to digest way, making it ideal to teach subjects like history, geography, or science.
For post-secondary education, however, the complexity and creativity required to master this level of expertise will still require human professors. But who knows? That could change in the future as ChatGPT gets smarter.
Instead of hiring multiple teams in different time zones to provide 24/7 support, companies can now train ChatGPT to learn about common customer questions and complaints, and be able to provide continuous support. You may not even know that you’re talking to a robot instead of a person, given how well ChatGPT currently mimics the conversational tone of human support personnel. Since most customer support is done remotely anyway, it’s not much of a big change to switch to using an intelligent robot rather than a person reading a script and looking up solutions in a handbook.
Simple Web development/Tech Support
ChatGPT can already do simple bug fixes and suggest coding solutions for simple software problems. And this ability will only improve overtime. So, if your job involves simple front-end coding and basic troubleshooting/tech support, your job could be next on the chopping block.
Graphic Design/Digital Artists
Netflix made an anime short called “Dog & The Boy” using AI, which generated a ton of backlash from artists. AI art is now so prevalent, it’s easy to make your own art on your website without ever needing to hire a graphic designer. And unless specified, most untrained human eyes can’t tell the difference between AI generated art and art produced by humans.
If your job is in one of these fields, have a backup plan and get your finances in shape just in case. If you have your FI armor on, threats of outsourcing, ChatGPT, or recessions can’t hurt you.
But if you don’t, now’s the time to get ready and take the first steps towards having enough FU money so that you don’t have to worry. Start with having 6 months of living expenses set aside, then go from there.
Luckily for these other fields, because of the creativity, problem solving, and complexity involved, it’s very unlikely that ChatGPT could take over your job:
When it comes to healthcare, nothing beats a living, breathing doctor or nurse. For the same reason that you wouldn’t rely on WebMD to diagnose serious illnesses and be responsible for your care, you wouldn’t want to rely on ChatGPT to take care of you in the hospital or be responsible for life saving surgery. No matter how many medical school exams ChatGPT passes, humans will tend to put their lives in the hands of other humans rather than a heartless computer.
Would you trust ChatGPT to fly the airplane you’re sitting in? I wouldn’t. ChatGPT’s value add is being able to comb through vast amounts of information and summarize it clearly and concisely while mimicking a human’s voice. But what about situations or disasters it has never encountered before? Right now it can only do systematic tasks and troubleshoot issues by finding solutions to known problems. But what about when shit hits the fan and it needs to get creative and start making up brand new fixes on the spot? Airline passengers are unlikely to trust ChatGPT pilots.
Even though ChatGPT can suggest bug fixes and do troubleshooting, it’s still not sophisticated enough to completely replace software engineers (yet). Its mathematical abilities aren’t advanced enough to replace mechanical, civil, aerospace, environmental engineers, etc. But that could change as it learns and grows over time. That being said, due to the complex and creative problem solving aspect of these fields, human engineers will likely always be involved in checking ChatGPT’s work, as well as upgrading and debugging ChatGPT itself.
What Can We Do About It?
So there’s a big bad AI robot coming to take our shit. What can we do about it?
Diversify Your Skillset
The more creativity and complex problem-solving skills you have, the harder it’ll be to replace you with a bot. Don’t just coast on your existing skills. Learn as many new skills as possible so that you are difficult to replace. And if you find yourself in an industry that’s vulnerable to being replaced, find ways to broaden your appeal as a worker to industries that aren’t, like health care.
Whether you agree with it or not, there will continue to be layoffs in the future as machines become more sophisticated and replace humans. And companies, driven by efficiency and profit, will boost their stock prices by saving money on labour costs while increasing productivity. In fact, after Buzzfeed announced they will use ChatGPT to create content, their stock jumped 150%. Be on the right side of this equation. Be a shareholder instead of an employee. Learn how to invest.
Boycott ChatGPT products
If you don’t agree with ChatGPT replacing human jobs, boycott their products. Demand that companies be transparent about using ChatGPT. If a piece of art or a TV show was created by AI, don’t buy it or watch it. If a company uses AI to replace human workers, don’t buy their products. The market, i.e. buyers like you, have the power to enact costs on companies that use ChatGPT, and if the costs of using the technology outweigh the benefits, then companies will stop using it.
Save FU Money
Instead of associating money with ego, use it as a tool for safely and autonomy. The more FU money you have, the less vulnerable you are to job losses and the more control you have over your life. Use your FU money to buy peace of mind and financial security. It’ll be the best money you ever spent.
What do you think? Do you think ChatGPT is coming to take your job? Why or why not? How will you prepare for it?
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29 thoughts on “Is ChatGPT Coming to Take Your Job?”
” Would you trust ChatGPT to fly the airplane you’re sitting in? ”
I guess we can also ask the question ” Would you trust AI to drive the car you’re sitting in? “
Self-driving cars will be the standard quicker than we think. They will be safer than a human at the wheel and yes AI will make those hard chooses. Great article on Chatgpt. Google thinks it’s a big deal. Might even replace their search engine. Think how that will shake things up in the ad world.
Been reading your blog and just wanted to say thanks for your work. You did not address if you wrote the above article or chatgpt? I love your points, be ready for anything!!
In terms of risk of job being lost to AI, regardless of the field, the risk is high if all the work can be done on a computer. As you get closer to physical/hardware, the risk decreases. For example, web developers, graphics artists, etc would be at very high risk, but firmware engineers would be at much lower risk. Medical doctors would be very low risk, and plumbers would probably be amongst the lowest risk.
I agree with this take. That said, it also depends if people understand the work you’re doing. I remember a website saying that computers were going to put archivists out of work but not computer programmers.
Sounds like someone who has no idea what archivists do (there’s a reason we have to be able to lift 25+ pounds overhead on a ladder). And a programmer who either thought they were funny or really had the blinders on.
We’ll never be as secure as plumbers (there are many people who want to destroy evidence and history out there, not preserve it and make it accessible) but at least we’ll lose our positions because of evil humans not evil robots.
Thanks for a very interesting article that summarizes the next potential threat to traditional employment.
Traditional outsourcing raised to the next level through AI implementation – Wow.
How does the song go, “What you gunna to do when AI comes for you?”.
So glad you published your book and helped us get on track for FI. Very grateful 😊. Keep up the good work.
Ai is creepy and will kill the internet as everything will be bots and you’ll never know when it’s a human writing or a bot. It’s the begining of the end. Now I expect lawmakers and regulators to make it mandatory to disclose when a text or something is written by a chatbot
“BOYCOTT CHATGPT PRODUCTS”, while sounds good and in theory could work, is a very unrealistic idea.
The whole point of using AI is to lower cost and increase efficiency, leading to lower end cost (and higher profits).
We’ve all seen those efforts to boycott companies that cut costs.
We all bought cloths and electronic made in China instead of local because they were cheaper. We didn’t boycott them.
We all used call centers from India instead of local ones, we didn’t boycott the companies using them.
We all use self-checkout that replaces cashiers. We don’t boycott those grocery stores.
We all order from Amazon instead of going to the local store.
And we will all use products from companies using AI to replace humans.
One, because it will be cheaper and two, because there is no viable alternative
It is the largest and most capable companies which will employ AI to replace humans (Microsoft, Amazon, Bell, AT&T, Disney etc). Good luck untangling yourself from them…
We all use self-checkout? Of course not!! We shouldn’t and I don’t
I guess with this point of view we should all just give up?!
-No wonder “skynet” will take over when there’s no John Connor to care
I personally also don’t use them, and of course I didn’t mean the literal “all”.
I meant the overwhelming momentum has been going this way for years.
I agree. We only tend to boycott things that make our life suck, not easier. This is the strategy of big tech, make our more convenient to hook us. Once we cant live without their technology then they get evil on us with tracking and social credit system control.
I really don’t think that boycotting is the answer. The toughest human skill/quality to mimic or replace is empathy/EI, I’m not saying that it won’t happen, but even ChatGPT isn’t there yet, so roles that require human engagement look relatively safe for now.
So grateful you wrote “Quit like a Millinaire”. By word of mouth I keep recommending the book to whoever crosses my path. I love your case studies and forward them to my friends for added discussions. My family is not tired of brainstorming methods of saving and investing wisely. Fun. It has built a friendly community for me. For my toastmaster’s group I give little speeches referencing your book and awesome life. Don’t quit. Keep it up. No robot can replace your experience.
I just passed the $100k mark in saving for retirement. I know that’s not the greatest for a 40 year old, but between living in high cost-of-living areas and having health problems, I wasn’t always able to save much. So I can’t imagine getting to a million before ChatGPT takes my job. There needs to be another answer. But what I keep seeing is that government provided solutions only help a very narrow slice of society (here in the US anyway) and people who have tried to do the best they could, but struggled get screwed.
My experience with India was similar to yours.
First, my company hired bug in Bangalore.
Then, a development team including engineers in two continents was formed, working around the clock. Basically, we trained them on the job.
Last came the layoffs in California.
I would give half of my FU money to have Godfather Collins’ opinion on this great piece.
He is an incurable optimist, you know… 😉
Great article Kristy! The rapid growth of ChatGPT and its potential impact on various industries can definitely be scary. I found always intriguing to think about the future and how technology will shape the job market and this one definitely has the potential to become disrupting.
What is your opinion on the $10 billion investment by Microsoft in OpenAI and its implications on the job market?
I’m all for letting AI do useful work so that humans have to do less. Sounds like this could be a really strong disinflationary force and right now it seems like we need that. The fear is that the benefits of AI doing more for humans will not be shared equally but that’s not something for the finance world to figure out, but rather the political one. (My hopes are low on that score but that’s beside the point…)
There was this fad no long ago that stocks would add “crypto” or “blockchain” to their name to get hype and dupe people into buying their stock. When the stock price jumped up, the company execs would dump their stock for a tidy profit. Right after that, the stock price would crash as the quarterly update would com3cout showing consistent loses and no revenue growth.
And now, companies are adding the word “AI” to the name of their stock. Hmmm…consistent pattern forming? Lol Wonder wonder.
Just another fad. You know, the employment rate is at all time lows, in every country around the globe. What are you all stressing about? Is this just another clickbaity post? Is that pattern consistent as well? Judge for yourself. Lol
I think fear of ChatGPT is shortsighted. I mean, did you also fear automobiles so much that you boycotted them and kept riding your horse to work in the fields? My FIL was a typesetter, but he moved on when progress in his field did away with his job, and you will too if you are one of those professions that ChapGPT replaces. Its just change, and it happens all the time whether you realize it or not.
“When it comes to healthcare, nothing beats a living, breathing doctor or nurse.”
While that may be true, I’ve seen time and time again how medical professionals can be lazy, incorrect, imperfect, or down right wrong. AI might not be a good replacement for for medicine, but could be a great tool to be used in medicine, by professionals who might not have read the latest research, might have missed something on a scan or prescription list, had a bad nights sleep and are feeling a little unmotivated that day, or simply might need a second opinion.
Well I posed your question to ChatGPT. This is what it answered:
As a language model developed by OpenAI, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs. However, I can provide some information on the topic of AI and its impact on the job market.
There is growing concern that AI and automation technologies will result in job displacement for certain types of workers. Some jobs, such as those that involve repetitive tasks or data processing, may be at a higher risk of automation. On the other hand, jobs that require human skills, such as creativity, empathy, and problem-solving, are likely to remain less vulnerable to automation.
To prepare for this potential impact, individuals may consider upskilling and reskilling themselves in areas that are less likely to be automated, such as those that require human skills. Additionally, pursuing education and training in in-demand fields, such as data science, software development, and other technology-related fields, may help increase employability in the future job market.
It’s also important to keep in mind that AI has the potential to create new jobs and industries, and that the impact of automation on the job market will likely vary depending on the country and specific industry. It’s important to stay informed and adaptable to changes in the job market as they occur.
Then I asked if I should be scared and it responded:
As an AI language model, I do not have emotions, but I understand that the topic of automation and AI can be a source of concern for many people. The reality is that AI and automation will likely lead to some job displacement, but it will also create new jobs and opportunities.
While it’s natural to feel anxious about the future, it’s important to approach the topic with a growth mindset and consider how you can prepare for the potential impact on the job market. Upskilling and reskilling, staying informed about the job market, and pursuing education and training in in-demand fields are some of the ways that you can prepare for the potential impact of AI and automation on the job market.
It’s also important to remember that technological change has been a constant throughout human history, and that many previous technological advancements have created new opportunities and improved living standards. With the right preparation and mindset, individuals can increase their chances of thriving in the future job market.
Then I followed up with Should I save Fuck U money? And it’s response:
As a neutral and impartial AI language model, I do not endorse or condone the use of offensive language. It’s also important to note that having a savings account, or what you referred to as “Fuck U money,” can be a good idea regardless of the impact of AI and automation on the job market. Having an emergency fund can provide financial security and peace of mind in case of unexpected events, such as job loss or medical expenses.
Saving money and building a safety net is generally a good financial practice, regardless of the job market or potential impacts of technology. If you are concerned about the potential impact of AI and automation on your job, consider incorporating savings into your financial plan and exploring ways to increase your employability and job security through education and skill-building.
—-Well, that was fun.
Humans are rapidly innovating themselves into obsolescence. It started with cells phones, suddenly you didn’t need to memorize phone numbers. Why memorize or learn anything for that matter when you can just Google it when you need it? We’re also losing basic skills. Kids don’t learn to write cursive anymore, just basic print. Mental math? Who needs that when you’ve got phone/computer/watch to do it for you? Now tools like ChatGTP are taking our creativity. Why take several hours to write an essay when the program will do it for you in seconds?
Soon our brains will lose mass from being underused as we devolve back to monkeys. I’m just being silly, but how is that not a possibility?
No robot will ever be able to take over your skill of making a living UNLESS…
You are still young, but, do not have the drive nor the curiosity of the ever-evolving world around you.
Suggested game plan…
Develop a yearning desire and the curiosity of tomorrow and see yourself making contributions and not constant consumptions.
If you really want to be part of the millennial revolution you’ll start by boycotting Apple and all its products. IPhone and all icraps and move to open source Android!
This article reads like scaremongering. Literally “ChatGPT is coming to take your job”!
“…there will continue to be layoffs in the future as machines become more sophisticated and replace humans. And companies, driven by efficiency and profit, will boost their stock prices by saving money on labour costs while increasing productivity.” Duh. This sentence has been true of every moment since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The balance between which jobs are done by machines and which are done by people is in constant evolution. Everyone with a job has been finding a job and building their skillsets in this reality their entire lives. This is not a revolution. This is incremental change. It feels like you’re just trying to poke and rile up the scared working masses.
Why scared working masses are scared? I think FI can help them. Article is also giving this message only
Let us come to the point and mind our own business. Let us accumulate our FU money at earliest to be FI and don’t forget to enjoy your journey to reach FI. It could be hard journey but worth your efforts.