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AI – How To Stay Ahead Of The Game

Written by: Richie Perera, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

AI! We are all hearing this term more and more in business and in everyday life. I recently ran a poll on LinkedIn asking people to vote on their knowledge about artificial intelligence. What I discovered is that while everyone has heard of AI, just a small percentage of people use it, and many are afraid of it.

close up shot of a man looking  at camera

In the post, I also suggested that AI might potentially take 99.9% of human jobs within the next ten years. Conversations sparked by that post took me back, and people who are well-versed and on the cutting edge of comprehending the technology informed me that I was entirely wrong. It is unlikely to be ten years, but rather within the next two to five years! My organisation, Mental Health and Life, provides mental health first aid courses, and I also work as a business consultant for Guidepoint Global. The conversations I've had while doing this work has left me astounded by how unprepared we all are for the impact of AI.


When it comes to mental health, well-being and AI, I foresee a complex situation that will undoubtedly bring extreme highs and lows. It has left me wondering if some of the topics I wrote about in my book Managing People in the New Normal will even matter in the coming years, as soon, there may only be a few sectors left with a small number of humans to manage.


So, What Exactly Is AI?


Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a subfield of computer science that aims to program computers to mimic human intelligence. This can encompass a wide range of techniques, from pattern recognition and prediction to natural language processing and learning from past mistakes. Machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning are only a few examples of the various branches of artificial intelligence. Algorithms and statistical models are used in these technologies to analyse data and draw conclusions or make judgments. Many sectors could benefit greatly from AI's ability to automate tasks, enhance decision-making, and boost productivity. Artificial intelligence has many practical uses in business, such as chatbots for customer care, predictive analytics for sales forecasting, and robotic process automation to streamline mundane activities. AI is still a relatively new discipline and one that creates ethical and social implications. The potential hazards and benefits of AI for businesses and society are enormous, and it's crucial for individuals and organisations to have a solid grasp of both.


The Benefits


On the plus side, you can look at a platform called ChatGPT. It is a big language model made by OpenAI that can understand and respond to questions and prompts with text that looks like it was written by a human. It has been taught on a huge amount of data, and it uses machine learning algorithms to come up with answers based on the situation and the information that it is given. ChatGPT can be helpful in the workplace in many ways. For example, it can be used to automate customer service interactions, which helps companies answer customer questions quickly and effectively. It can also be used to create content, translate languages, and analyse data dramatically reducing human errors.


ChatGPT can also help with things like making reports, writing recaps, and giving users personalised suggestions based on their likes and dislikes. It can also help professionals in many fields by giving them access to huge amounts of information and knowledge, which helps them make better choices and do their jobs better. ChatGPT could change the way we work and connect with technology, and its uses are only limited by our imaginations.


ChatGPT broke every record and had more than 1 million users in its first week. It is used by 25 million people every day, and by February 2023, there will have been 1 billion visits to the platform, up from 619 million in January. It is on track to bring in £1 billion in revenue by 2024 and OpenAI is already working on a more powerful design. ChatGPT is just one tool that is quickly changing how people work and live. There are plenty of other AI tools that cover almost every business area that is quickly taking shape.


It is moving so rapidly, if you blink, you'll miss it.


The Risks


AI has the potential to automate many jobs that humans do. A study by global management consultancy firm McKinsey found that 5% of jobs could be fully automated right now along with 30% of activities in 60% of occupations displacing 400 million workers worldwide by 2030. A study from the World Economic Forum says that AI and automation could make 75 million jobs disappear by 2022, but they could also create 133 million new jobs. The study says that the net increase in jobs will rely on how quickly people start using new technologies, how fast the economy grows, and how much money is spent on education and retraining.


In general, routine and repetitive jobs are more likely to be automated than jobs that require creativity, problem-solving, and contact with other people. Some of the industries that are most likely to be affected by AI are manufacturing, transportation, and customer service. On the other hand, healthcare, education, and creative industries are less likely to be affected. But quite soon, even those jobs will be at risk. Humans can't compete with AI and machine learning, it's just not humanly possible.


China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Italy have all banned ChatGPT, and many other countries are considering it. In March 2023, Elon Musk signed an open letter asking for a six-month break from developing big language models like ChatGPT. The Future of Life Institute released the letter, which had more than 1,800 signatures, including those of Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn. The letter stated that these AI systems with "human-competitive intelligence" are very dangerous for people. Musk said, "I think AI is a major threat to the survival of the human race." I mean, you could say that it's worse than nuclear weapons. So, we really need to be careful."


Maybe that's why so many people find AI scary.


Thriving Alongside AI


It's safe to assume that the increasing prevalence of AI and automated processes will have lasting repercussions. The threat of automation displacing human workers is real, but there are ways to lessen that impact. As AI becomes more common, it will be necessary to retrain or reskill in order to remain competitive. This necessitates a concentration on imaginative problem-solving, analytical thinking, emotional maturity, and articulate expression. These are the types of abilities that will be in high demand even as automation increases.


Be flexible and adaptable to new situations because you never know what life will throw at you next. To do so, one must be adaptable and open to gaining new knowledge and taking on different responsibilities as their career develops. Collaborate: it's often more productive to work alongside AI than against it. Humans and AI can work together to increase productivity and creativity.


Keep up to date: Read up on the most recent developments in AI and automation so you can foresee how they will affect your field and line of work. This will put you in a better position to anticipate changes and prepare for them. Finally, it's important to note that some roles are less likely to be automated, such as those involving childcare, social interaction, and complicated decision-making. By specialising in such people-centric tasks, you can lessen the likelihood of being automated out of existence. This is where organisations in such sectors will find my book Managing People in the New Normal invaluable.


To reduce the likelihood of being replaced by AI, it is important to acquire complementary abilities and show resilience in the face of uncertainty. Your future success in a world where AI plays an increasingly crucial role can be ensured by actively embracing collaboration and keeping yourself informed.

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Richie Perera, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Richie is an award-winning CEO and Founder of Mental Health and Life, an organisation that delivers Mental Health First Aid, Race Equity and Suicide Intervention training. Richie is recognised as a global leader in people management and the author of the groundbreaking book, Managing People in the New Normal. Richie is a speaker and consultant on workplace mental health and wellbeing describing it as the most overlooked, undervalued, yet most lucrative facet of business.

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