Will a robot steal your job?

If you're worried about being made redundant at work, remember it's not about you. It's a cost-cutting measure—because robots accept cache as payment!

What's new: The rise and quick adoption of ChatGPT—a groundbreaking AI text generator—has white-collar workers wondering if they will soon be competing with robots for their roles. 

  • ChatGPT has its share of issues (like making things up), but has been able to earn passing grades in medical, legal and business exams. 

Why it matters: Conventional wisdom for many years was that robots would come for low-wage jobs first, but ChatGPT shows that white-collar, knowledge economy jobs may actually be more in jeopardy.

  • The Future Skills Centre estimates that 60% of Canadian jobs are at risk of automation to some degree. 

What white-collar jobs are at risk and why? 

  • Analysts. One area AI excels in is pattern recognition (it is also very good at Excel.) Software could take over roles that require collecting and identifying data trends.

  • Graphic designers and photographers. With a few prompts, some AI programs can produce jaw-dropping images in different artistic styles, from photorealistic to abstract.

  • Content creators. AI is excellent at downloading a bunch of information, sifting through it and then regurgitating it as (so far, mediocre) "content."

Yes, but: ChatGPT has also been called out for factual errors, so the tech isn't perfect yet—phew!

  • AI falters when faced with ambiguity and nuance—humans are much better, faster and stronger at dealing with decision-making and judgment calls.

  • It also lacks the fine motor skills to complete more complex manual labour tasks like automotive repairs, plumbing or construction.

Experts predict that while AI might "kill" some jobs, it could create more opportunities than it destroys. These new jobs will give younger workers a competitive edge in the emerging sector. 

Bottom line: AI might not eliminate your job, but its integration in the workplace will change how you do your job—hopefully for the better. 

Dig deeper: Give this episode of The Peak's Free Lunch podcast a listen to hear Ryan Khurana, Chief of Staff at WOMBO, explain why AI is suddenly everywhere.