The AI Boom

A reaction to: Human-centered Artificial Intelligence and Workforce Displacement - Stanford University


Wow, just wow. Those were my direct thoughts after reading this article. People have talked about how everyone thought mechanical, monotonous, physical occupations were going to be the first ones replace by AI. I had not put two and two together until I read this article. Dated in 2020, soon after the invention of Transformer architecture and 2 years before the release of Chat GPT 3.5, the article claims that the Transportation, Manufacturing, and Construction sectors would be most impacted by the advent of AI.  


Most people were of the understanding those industries mentioned above would be replaced and that knowledge workers would be safe. Surprisingly, this all changed when Chat GPT 3.5 was released in November of 2022. All of a sudden, there was a chatbot answering conceptual questions, writing code, and even showing pseudo-emotions! One thing we learned in 2023 and 2024 is that AI, specifically Large Language Models, or LLMs, have the ability to replace knowledge workers. There are front end JavaScript developers who have been laid off from Big Tech companies due to this breakthrough.  


However, the intelligent knowledge worker understands that this is not a threat if the position themselves properly. We as knowledge workers need to understand this technology and learn how to not only utilize it in our day-to-day, but to “capital C” Capitalize on it. This is indeed equivalent if not bigger than the Industrial Revolution, or the Internet Boom.


So, I agree with the article in some ways and disagree in others. I believe high-skilled technical workers who position themselves properly will reap the benefits of this revolution, but I do not believe workers in the industries mentioned earlier will be impacted economically. We will still have a demand for those types of jobs.  


However, who will get left behind are those knowledge workers who perhaps work a computer-based occupation, but haven’t kept up with the recent trends in AI. Some examples can be someone who works at a bank creating monthly reports in excel, opening accounts, or customer support. These simple tasks are the top use cases for something like AI or an LLM to replace.  


My advice to anyone reading this is to take a step back and look as historical situations. When the internet was invented, was there an opportunity to take up web development? When the Industrial Revolution happened, was there an opportunity to become a factory manager? When the stock market boomed in the 90s, was there an opportunity to make money on Wall Steer? History repeats itself, and we are about to experience the AI Boom, take advantage.

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