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Sascha Lobo: How artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world of work


Artificial intelligence will fundamentally change our lives, but most people are not yet aware of this. Above all, the world of work will change – and in a different place than many would have expected.

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A woman uses speech recognition software: AI automates the intellectual assembly line

Photo: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Most people still underestimate the AI ​​revolution that has begun for all to see these days.

The magnitude of the change corresponds at least to that observed by passers-by in the 19th century when the first automobiles roared past.

Some experts estimate the change to be even greater.

Google boss Sundar Pichai already declared at the beginning of 2018 that artificial intelligence would soon be bigger and more effective than the well-known and popular human inventions of fire or electricity.

Such announcement superlatives always cause doubts and ridicule, but Pichai will hardly be able to take a superlative anymore.

Because the most expensive tweet of all time is likely to come from Google.

He was fired on February 6, 2023.

In it, the search company presents its new artificial intelligence: Bard.

It is a delayed counterattack on ChatGPT, the AI ​​from the company OpenAI, which was first fed a lot of money by Elon Musk and then by Microsoft and has just made the next level of digitization tangible for everyone interested.

ChatGPT is the fastest growing application ever in early 2023.

The Swiss bank UBS found this out in a study: 100 million monthly users in just over eight weeks.

It took TikTok nine months and Instagram two and a half years.

Against this lightning titan of the internet, Google is forced to enter Bard.

What happens next to a presentation on YouTube, above all, in the form of a commercial, which can be seen in the tweet mentioned in condensed form as a GIF, i.e. a silent video.

Google's AI Bard makes a silly factual mistake: the AI ​​claims that the James Webb Space Telescope took the first photo of a planet outside our solar system.

The Reuters news agency noticed the error, in fact such a photo was taken in 2004 by the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory.

Reuters reports the bug immediately after the world's eagerly awaited Google AI response, and the entire product presentation of Google's ChatGPT killer Bard implodes.

The cornerstones may seem like a bubble to the unfamiliar, like a hot inflated market trend that will cool down and collapse like bhatura bread in a few months.

And of course there is a perceived excess of spectacle today due to the media and attention machinery for almost every tech development.

But you have to separate that din from what is actually happening right now.

And this is a real, deep and comprehensive revolution of digital automation that affects education, communication, culture, work, economy and society as a whole.

We can witness the emergence of an artificial intelligence ecosystem.

Pretty much how smartphone apps have gradually shaped the world since 2008.

»There's an app for that« was an Apple advertisement in the early days of the smartphone and it stood for everything from finding a partner with Tinder and communicating with WhatsApp to shopping with Amazon and organizing everyday life such as the Bahn app to entertainment with Netflix and Spotify as well as social media with Instagram a bunch of apps has taken over our lives.

It is precisely this development that artificial intelligence will understand and even intensify.

Sometimes it is integrated into the already existing apps of our lives and only perceived as an upgrade.

Sometimes it will pop up with a sudden jolt, and then we might have an AI personal assistant or an AI doing a significant part of our work.

Naturally, as is always the case with new tech trends, adventurers in the form of business coaches took the lead in development right from the start.

TikTok and Instagram are overflowing with videos in which you are served up business ideas with practically no work on your part: let the AI ​​do everything!

Despite a certain sloppiness, it's not just nonsense, the business coaches quickly checked real, existing and functioning digital business models for automation through ChatGPT.

The results definitely include, well, pearls of contemporary product culture.

A business coach talks about the idea of ​​selling a motivational calendar on Etsy that is only produced via print on demand when someone orders it.

The costs for sellers are therefore kept within tight limits.

The accompanying daily sayings are entirely from ChatGPT and upon first review are just as good as the previously human-made motivational formulas.

You can see how many times a product has been sold on Etsy, and there are some motivational calendars with millions of copies with prices around $20 - with medium quality motivational quotes.

Artificial intelligence automates the intellectual assembly line

If you want to appreciate the impact of the change brought about by artificial intelligence, you must not make the mistake of confining yourself to the heights of human achievement and only looking at the biggest, best and most important works.

The gigantic potential for automation results precisely from the large number of human jobs for which medium or simple quality is completely sufficient or even desirable.

No one reads a motivational calendar struggling to win a Nobel Prize in Literature.

That's why this motivational calendar of fortune-tellers tells us a lot about the coming upheaval caused by artificial intelligence in the areas of business and culture - which will take place primarily in the field of work.

It takes place first where the work results do not have to win a world championship because nobody applies these standards.

Industrialization has automated the assembly line, artificial intelligence is automating the intellectual assembly line.

And if you're honest with yourself and the world, there's a lot of that in most people's day-to-day work in most offices.

It is a loving self-deception that so many professions require tremendous creativity and creative humanity.


Sasha Lobo

Reality shock: Ten lessons from the present

Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch

Number of pages: 400 pages

Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch

Number of pages: 400 pages

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This will not lead to mass unemployment among calendar authors - but to other areas of specific pressure that weighs on workers, who first have to compete against machines in terms of price and then at some point withdraw from more and more work, until sometimes only the organization, administration and verification is left around the work.

Roughly in the same way that warehouse workers today have to work against robot systems in order to "be worthwhile" and, step by step, more and more people are shifting their work to related areas, from organizing and monitoring automation to safety and service.

The shifting of work through artificial intelligence is therefore not fundamentally new in terms of labor society, it is only taking place in fundamentally new areas: among people who would have sworn a few years ago that their work was irreplaceable.

The quintessence of change: The coming ecosystem of artificial intelligence will be a new chapter in the eternal history of automation of capitalism.

It will amplify all of capitalism's strengths and amplify all of its weaknesses as well.

The major task of the change that can now be observed will be to counteract these weaknesses and the massive social consequences.

And not just with motivational calendars.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2023-02-15

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