Generative AI: Reimagining how we work

Uma Ganesh | April 6, 2023 |

Here’s an opportunity to rethink careers and create new jobs

After the initial curiosity and excitement about Generative AI tools like ChatGPT, the focus is now on the likely impact on the jobs. The recent report of Goldman Sachs has further added impetus to this debate on whether Generative AI will create new jobs or will kill the existing jobs.

On the one hand, productivity would go up due to smart tools doing better than humans in the areas of routine, repetitive tasks and those tasks which require sifting through information for arriving at standard responses or actions. Thus as per the report, there is likely to be 7% increase in GDP over a 10-year period due to the productivity gains and it also indicates that approximately 300 million jobs would be lost especially in the developed economies as AI tools will take over the roles such as clerical assistants, secretaries, telecallers, consultants filing tax returns or evaluating complex insurance claims

While in the past pundits have often spoken about the grunt roles that may be displaced by technology, for the first time, there is a fear that the tasks handled by highly skilled personnel could also be handled by AI tools. The current wave of technology and automation entering into the domain of content and articulation is alerting us to the potential changes that are likely to unfold in the coming days.

Therefore, how do we get geared to the new realities of the job market? As per the popular Silicon Valley maxim, we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. Skilling and upskilling at regular intervals to remain relevant in their respective fields is extremely important now. The new field of AI is going to require a vast pool of resources equipped with analytics, programming, machine language (ML) and modelling capabilities. Skills in these areas would be undoubtedly hot in demand.

Hence the fundamental requirement for success would be to develop a mindset to be inquisitive and to accept change and excel in adapting at lightning speed and acquire new skills on the run. These capabilities can be best inculcated and nurtured from the schooling days and thereafter in the university. New services offering quality counselling and mentoring, for instance, which are much in demand for school children could be extended to a large segment of population with the help of Generative AI tools with appropriate controls and checks.

These tools could also supplement teachers, financial advisors and fitness consultants where they are required most with personalised imaginative content. India fortunately, has a natural inclination towards technology in large numbers. This, combined with the skills required for putting technology to work in creative ways, could make the emerging versions of Generative AI tools attractive propositions. Hence instead of being concerned about the jobs that are likely to be lost, we have an opportunity to rethink careers and create new jobs.

Originally appeared in Financial Express