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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed below belong solely to the author.

Many people have expressed their concern with the pace of artificial intelligence (AI) development and how clever software automation can rob millions of people of their jobs. However, it can also help you land your next one.

There’s no reason why AI shouldn’t follow the trajectory of every past technological breakthrough — it’s going to improve our output, making our jobs easier and more valuable.

Yes, as a result, it may make reduce headcounts in some companies and professions, while raising salaries in line with improved performance, but it will also create new jobs elsewhere.

Just like assembly line robots reduced workforce needs in car factories, those who stayed enjoyed better conditions and the rest moved on to new jobs in various services.

job automation car assembly
Despite widespread automation, humans are still needed at car assembly lines / Image Credit: Ford

As ever, of course, it requires adaptation from the labour force — i.e. each one of us.

And the harbinger of change is already here. As per latest survey conducted by an online resume creator app ResumeBuilder.com — conducted among 1,000 companies in the US that are currently hiring — a whopping nine out of 10 of them are looking for people with skills in effective use of ChatGPT.

Now, while these results may not exactly apply across the entire economy or all jobs on the market, they are certainly indicative of the trends in the knowledge services sector, which provides most of the well-paid jobs in any country, not only in the US.

And it makes perfect sense, if you think about it.

To reap the rewards of automation, companies need to employ people who are competent in using it. Because, as it turns out, you can’t completely rely on the bot itself and you need workers who know what they are doing to get the most of it.

It may seem absurd to some since, after all, isn’t ChatGPT just a glorified Google box, where you enter your question and receive a nice, human-sounding answer? What “skills” do you really need to be able to do it?

In reality, there is more nuance to it, because the bot is only as good as your questions may be and you have to be able to tell where it may be getting things wrong and how to extract everything that it got right to make your job easier and faster.

The Pareto principle

AI is certainly not immune to the Pareto principle, which states that 80 per cent of results in any activity is accomplished with 20 per cent of the effort. In other words, with relatively little input, you get a very good output — but it still requires work to get to the 100 per cent.

pareto principle
Image Credit: PixelsAway / depositphotos

In this vein, I expressed my scepticism of AI errors in one of my recent articles. Getting to perfect accuracy will require a lot more effort than getting to where we are today. This gap may be far easier to fill by human beings.

Again, returning to the assembly line example — robots perform most of the heavy tasks but many decades later, humans are still required because investing in automating every single, precise task may not be worth the expense if you can just hire a guy with a set of power tools.

There’s no reason why it should be different with AI tools. At the end of the day, humans will still be required to check if machines are doing what they are supposed to — and correct them if they are not.

This ability to supervise them is going to become a highly valuable skill, the demand for which is beginning to show.

If you want to be ahead of the curve, you should start training in it now. And if you are demonstrably competent, you are going to stand out among other candidates.

The missing link

That’s what we are — and it defines what is required of us in the workplace when using AI tools. ChatGPT alone doesn’t only provide you information.

robot human
Image Credit: iakovenko123 / depositphotos

Whether you’re building a website or sending emails to clients, it can help you write copy, use a specific style of speech, emphasise some points over others — before you apply the finishing touches.

The copy it generates can be used online, in brochures, presentations or videos. It can also find information, providing references and data that you seek to make your point — far more quickly than Google can.

With clever applications within Microsoft software, it can collect data and combine them in tables (and charts, using other third-party tools), without you needing to perform the mundane tasks (and soon it will be able to output an entire PowerPoint presentation based on this content).

Customer service and problem solving are other areas where it can be deployed.

Of course, it can also write code in any programming language you need. Again, it may not always be perfect, but as long as you are a competent coder yourself, you are able to extract the most of what it does, ask it to self-correct itself.

This allows you to leap ahead at your job, since you may then only be tasked with polishing the end result, rather than typing every character in yourself.

Using other AI tools, like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion or Dall-E, you are able to create images out of thin air, providing illustration to whatever work you’re doing (if it is needed).

But to do all of that, you have to understand how to write prompts (even if it isn’t exactly rocket science) and converse with the bots to get the desired result as quickly as possible.

“Prompt engineers don’t necessarily need computer-science credentials. A recent Time magazine feature profiled a chatbot specialist with an English degree.  

The chatbot whisperer’s job is “figuring out the right prompts to get the right response,” Rahman said, a skillset that calls for critical thinking, a way with words and an adaptive brain: AI programs learn as they go. 

“The query that you write today is unlikely to yield the same answer tomorrow, or even the next time you use it,” Rahman said.”

The Hill, April 18, 2023

It may seem simple, but as many people are able to use a few MS Office programs and send emails to colleagues at most, productive use of AI tools is not necessarily a given among all workers.

Ultimately, what your employer will want to see is not just your ability to enter questions into a chat box, but rather the results you can/could generate.

Proving that you can significantly improve your output will not only land you the job, but a more attractive salary with it as well.

Featured Image Credit: Depositphotos

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)