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The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence: Reshaping the Workplace


Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) was formally founded at a workshop held on the campus of Dartmouth College in 1956. But some forms of A.I. have been around for centuries. As early as the 8th century B.C. in the works of Homer, Hephaestus, the Greek God of smithing and craft, used automatic bellows to execute simple repetitive labor.


All of us experience A.I. every day in various ways. For example: Conducting a web search for services or products, participating in an online meeting (e.g., Zoom, Go to Meeting, Slack), or using tools to correct spelling and grammar. All these tools use a platform powered by artificial intelligence techniques that incorporate machine learning algorithms or procedures that help the programs learn to operate better.


Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing every aspect of human activity. One of the major areas A.I. is predicted to reshape is the WORKPLACE.


For many years, A.I. was predicted to only replace jobs with repetitive tasks or reproducible actions (e.g., low-skill workers, like file clerks or some assembly line workers). The recent evolution of A.I. or Generative A.I. (e.g., ChatGPT, Dall-E, LaMDA, Midjourney) is disproving that theory.


ChatGPT uses a large language (machine learning) model trained by absorbing billions of words from books, articles, and websites so it is capable of content generation based on the context of the given text. Short for “Language Model for Dialogue Applications,” LaMDA is a large language model developed by Google Research that was trained on human dialogue and stories, allowing it to engage in open-ended conversations. It is used to find patterns in sentences, correlations between different words used in those sentences, and even predict the work that is likely to come next.[i] Dall-E and Midjourney are A.I. systems that can generate realistic digital images and art from a text prompt.


Generative A.I. is quickly progressing in creative work (e.g., writing news articles and programming). Language models can be trained to understand and answer questions without the context given and provide answers in multiple ways. They can also be used to automatically extrapolate and shorten documents, papers, podcasts, videos, and more into their most essential bits of information. Recent large-scale language models have demonstrated an impressive ability to generate code, edit, and explain computer code. However, these technologies still fall short and still need human oversight.


A Goldman Sachs Research report predicts a new wave of advances in A.I. may trigger shifts in workflows that may impact worldwide employment markets by exposing the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs to automation. After analyzing databases detailing the task content of over 900 occupations, Goldman Sacks’ economists estimate roughly two-thirds of the U.S. occupations could be partially automated by A.I. Of course, A.I.’s impact on labor productivity will depend on its capability and adoption timeline.[ii]


A 2022 McKinsey Group Global Survey on A.I. revealed artificial intelligence could replace roughly 15% of workers, or about 400 million people worldwide, between 2016 and 2030. After five years of conducting the global survey, McKinsey determined that the adoption of A.I. has more than doubled since 2017 but has plateaued between 50 and 60 percent for the past several years.[iii]


Job displacement from automation should be offset by the enhancement of existing jobs and new job creation. According to the World Economic Forum, an estimated 85 million jobs will be replaced by A.I. by 2025.


A.I. is predicted to continue to evolve and grow at least by 20% per year and eventually transform every existing industry. New industries that arise will incorporate the latest A.I. and robotics innovations as soon as they are available. Future Industries will be established based on digital technology, data science, and artificial intelligence.[iv]


The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Report on “The Future of Jobs” predicted that A.I. technology will create 97 million new jobs specifically related to the development, management, and maintenance of A.I. by 2025.[v] Generative A.I. and machine learning is expected to create new job roles such as Data Detectives/Scientists, Ethical Sourcing officers, A.I. Trainers and Auditors, Prompt & Robotic Engineers, and A.I. Business Development Managers.


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[1] The State of AI in 2022, McKinsey Group

[1] The Future of Jobs Report (2020), World Economic Forum

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