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How Soon Will a Robot Replace You?
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin, TX
Wednesday, December 21, 2022


The Herman Trend Alert

December 21, 2022

How Soon Will a Robot Replace You?

Honestly, Folks, I thought this development would be at least a few years from now, but it appears that "the future is here today."

A New Kid on the AI Chatbot Block

There is a new piece of software called ChatGPT. Not only does it try to answer questions like a person, but it can also write what was described as a "solid academic essay on theories of nationalism, a history of the tragic but fictitious Ohio-Indiana War." ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a chatbot developed by a company called OpenAI. Built on top of OpenAI's GPT-3.5 family of large language models, ChatGPT is fine-tuned with not just one, but two types of learning techniques.

Simply the Best

According to technology journalist Kevin Roose, ChatGPT is the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the public. Since its launch a couple of weeks ago, many people have shared what the bot can do. At the direction of New York magazine journalists, it wrote a "pretty decent" story. It even created a story about an artificial intelligence program called Assistant that was originally set up to answer questions, but soon evolved to lead a new world order that guided humanity to "a new era of peace and prosperity." The quality of the this chatbot's output is remarkable and way beyond most of what could have been written before. Not only that, but OpenAI, working on the next level that could be released next year.

An Advancement that Took Some by Surprise

This development reminds me a lot of the software that Ray Kurzweil was working on for years---software that could read for the blind with natural speech. For years, it sounded stilted, and one day, it didn't. Similarly, for years now, we have been promised AI with these capabilities and it never came---until now. ChatGPT fulfills many of the long-awaited promises of AI. It is simply a matter of time until many of our jobs can be handled by robots.

On the Horizon

Around the corner are self-driving (and even self-repairing) cars, risk-free surgeries, instant personalized therapy bots, and much more. Moreover, AI has the capacity to accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently than any person can---without needing sick days or holidays. Although the technology is not quite there yet, advances in machine learning and the pace of advancement reflect that it is just a matter of time.

What Bots are Particularly Good At

ChatGPT is especially good at writing coherently, researching, and writing essays and articles. It is also good at helping to code programs, that automates challenges which previously could take hours of work for humans. Finally, a different program called Consensus is capable of reviewing millions of pages of pages of scientific papers and sharing major findings, doing in minutes what would take people days or weeks.

ChatGPT is not Perfect---Yet

This chatbot still makes mistakes, but it is evolving very quickly, and some researchers believe that general-use AI could reach human intelligence levels of within not centuries, but decades.

Unintended Consequences

One risk is that this level of automation will likely take people's jobs. In fact, it already is. With the difficulty (or impossibility) of recruiting salespeople and cashiers for airports, some restaurants and purveyors of food in airports have replaced their fresh food with vending machines. And robots have certainly revolutionized the process of building a new car.

Nightmare Scenario Imagined by Machine Learning Researchers

When asked about the potential effects of AI, nearly half of the machine-learning researchers surveyed said there was a 10 percent or greater chance that the outcome would be "extremely bad (e.g., human extinction)." These scientists are saying that the work to which they have dedicated their lives could destroy humanity.

Now to Answer the Question: How Soon Will Your Job Go Away

If you are a researcher who spends your work time combing through thousands of pages of documents, it's time to develop another skill---now. If you write essays for a living, it is not too soon to start thinking about an allied career. In fact, the research and writing of this Herman Trend Alert could soon be augmented with AI technology. If you are a truck or delivery driver under the age of 30, start thinking about what else you might like to do and get that training. If you are a professional speaker like me, be sure you stay up-to-date on the new avatar technologies. Within 10 years, your hologram will be able to appear on a stage half a world away. (That technology is already available.) Within 30 years, many union jobs, from making coffee to making cars will have disappeared. There are already therapist chatbots here in the US, and robots keeping the elderly company in Japan. The more a job requires human judgment, the longer it will be before it is a replaced. Yet ChatGPT is lightyears better than what most of us had seen before. It's only a matter of time.

To read the article that inspired this Alert, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/05/technology/chatgpt-ai-twitter.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20221208&instance_id=79625&nl=the-morning®i_id=140573277&segment_id=115355&te=1&user_id=d065ca9b92c919cb521abbafe121fb9f

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: Helping Employees with Chronic Illness

One medium size company in Texas and New Mexico has come up with a plan for helping its 1200 employees cope with chronic illnesses, reducing their monthly health costs by 22 percent and decreasing their employees' visits to Emergency Departments by 69 percent. Next week, I will share with you all the impressive details.



In cooperation with the Dubai Future Foundation, the Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its 20th Anniversary Celebration in Dubai. You'll enjoy learning experiences on many aspects of the future. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, you'll get to see one of the leading cities in the world. For more information, visit here. https://www.apf.org/ to learn more.



To listen to Joyce's TV shows on the radio, simply visit RadioFutures.com. Joyce's show is streaming every day at 5:00PM Pacific Time.


To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web: https://hermangroup.com/alert/archive_12-21-2022.html.


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