The title of this piece is a bit controversial, but hear me out. Artificial intelligence has gotten a lot of press lately. In fact, it has become so popular that AI is receiving a similar number of searches on Google as Taylor Swift. There’s a lot of talk about companies incorporating AI into everything they do. And, fear around AI replacing our jobs is growing.
Some companies are using AI to do incredible things. But, many other companies are using AI as a new marketing term. From the outside, the entire topic can feel confusing and alarming.
I had an enlightening conversation recently about AI. My undergraduate education is in computer engineering. Not long ago, I was discussing the topic of AI with a friend. This friend is a bit younger than me. He’s also a computer engineer, and he now develops AI technology. I shared that when I was in college, artificial intelligence and machine learning didn’t exist. I felt like I had missed out on many of the new concepts that exist today. My friend shared that the education had not actually changed that much. AI is just a new way to talk about technology. It’s a new language. Yes, some companies are doing big things with AI. But, many other companies are using AI for their branding. AI and ML are new terms that sound smart.
So, what does this mean for you? Think back to the time before AI when we were nervous that technology would replace our jobs. Computers became common and helped to make things more efficient. In some cases, jobs changed or evolved. But for the most part, we’re all still here, still working. This is not unlike what will likely happen with AI.
AI will certainly help us do some things faster. It may help make writing a bit easier. It may help with planning. But, at the end of the day, humans are still needed. Humans create strategy. Humans add a level of care and insight that a computer could never provide.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there will be no impact. AI will influence change to occur. But, the real impact is likely being exaggerated online today. Companies are throwing around terms like AI and ML because it makes them (the companies) appear to be up to date with technology. It’s a marketing tactic.
What does this mean for you? If you can learn a little about AI, it may help you to ease your fears. If you believe your job will be impacted more than others, it may be time to evaluate your other skillsets. Think of your professional skills like you would think of an investment account. Diversifying your skillset can help to avoid any major issues.
But, try to remain calm. AI is interesting, and it has some great potential. But, it is likely not set to take over our human workforce.