While AI could upend jobs, an expert sees opportunity

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation) — Artificial intelligence (AI) has been chipping away at jobs for years, but many jobs in the U.S. could now be on the line.

Amazon Fresh grocery stores have been without cashiers from the beginning, but new research shows they’re not the only workers facing elimination; even job recruiters are at risk.

One tech expert said the recent rollout of ChatGPT is a major inflection point.

“If you’re just doing something that is kind of just feeding back information and not contextualizing it, you’re probably going to be changing and facing some headwinds,” said Andy Wilson, executive director at Alliance for SoCal Innovation.

The jobs most at risk: cashiers, customer service representatives, bookkeepers, IT support technicians and billing clerks.

California alone has about 8 million people currently in those fields. But University of San Diego professor Dan Roccato believes that AI may provide new opportunities for skilled laborers.

“At the end of this process what you’re going to find is that new job opportunities will arise. So some pain along the way, no question were used to that, but there will be plenty of new opportunities,” Roccato said.

But artists and other creators should be on the lookout.

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, a machine named Frida is already cranking out work.

“This is a platform to look at how robots can use imprecise tools. Because these days, a lot of what we automate is really, really precise, but painting is not,” said Carnegie Mellon professor Jim McCann.

As Frida perfects imprecision, AI continues to reshape all kinds of industries — just as automation transformed agriculture, which now engages less than 2% of the workforce.

“It wasn’t too long ago that the vast majority of American workers worked on a farm,” said Roccato. “So it’s an extreme example but it’s a good example of how the American economy — when it comes to jobs — is very good at reinventing itself.”

Meanwhile, Shelly Palmer, founder and CEO of The Palmer Group, encourages consumers to look at how they can utilize AI to be “more productive” instead of being worried about “which individual job might go away.”

“It’s not so much as jobs are going away but how can you enhance your capability set by learning to use these tools and then just being more productive and making more money,” he said.


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