June 7, 2023

How Will AI Change the World? Jobs, Art, and the Economy

How will AI affect art and the economy? What is the most likely future and who is most affected? Will AI replace humans? Let's figure it out.

How Will AI Change the World? Jobs, Art, and the Economy

Robots becoming sentient and turning against their masters is science fiction. But that doesn't mean that fears around AI are baseless. After all, artificial intelligence is already becoming sophisticated enough to alter job descriptions and career tracks. Whether you're about to start your career or are in the middle of one, you should know how the future might look with artificial intelligence.

AI can decrease labor demand or increase labor productivity. It will eradicate repetitive sorting, detection, and management tasks in white-collar jobs. More importantly, it will make tech entrepreneurship accessible to more people, resulting in a possible economic boom.

This article covers the pros and cons of artificial intelligence alongside the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario of an AI-powered future. It also covers the most likely future as well. You will discover how AI can change creative, legal, and customer service jobs, among others.

Curious about AI but don't know where to start? Download Realm AI for free to see how AI can turn your ideas, favorite song lyrics, and vision into interesting visual images.

The Rise of AI: A Brief Overview

On November 30, 2022, Open AI launched its GPT-powered chatbot, Chat GPT. Most people were impressed by Chat GPT's ability to generate long pieces of text in response to questions about pretty much anything. Soon, concerns regarding essay grading and the replacement of human journalists and writers took the stage center in any discussion about AI.

For most people, Chat GPT marks the rise of AI, but artificial intelligence technology has been in use for a long time. Almost all the social media content discovered on the "home," "for you," and "explore" pages of social media apps is algorithmically sorted. artificial intelligence also executes content flagging and moderation tasks.

As much as public-facing AI tools like Chat GPT and Midjourney have inspired discussions regarding artificial Intelligence, they don't mark the beginning of AI. Artificial intelligence is based on Machine Learning, which has its roots in a 1943 paper written by Walter Pitts (logician) and Warren Mucllock (neuroscientist).

As technological advancements and data consolidation have made machine learning more potent, artificial intelligence tools have emerged in the arts, data entry and sorting, and content creation fields. Much of the white-collar work being done today requires sorting, decision-making, and content creation.

All of these tasks can, at least theoretically, be done by AI. So, people are concerned about getting replaced entirely by AI. And if there's even a one percent chance of that happening, why are we taking it? Because AI offers a serious advantage set.

The Pros Of AI

artificial intelligence has been a staple in recent technology. Algorithmic content discovery, social media content moderation, and even Google Search snippets have all been ai-aided. However, AI's effectiveness as a consumer service became evident with the rise of generative AI. Here are the key advantages of AI in generative and sorting capacities.

Is More Fun

Whether you use AI for image editing, art creation, or social media avatars [internal link], you'll notice that it has an element of surprise. Because of this novelty and lack of predictability, working with AI can be fun.

But the fun aspect of artificial Intelligence goes beyond this. AI has the capacity to learn about specific users, which is why it delivers a bespoke experience. Social media sites have become more engaging because of AI content sorting algorithms. So, whether AI is generating content or sorting it, it is highly engaging.

Has Less Gatekeeping

Many creative fields have been gatekept by technical limits. Not everyone can work with oil paints or edit photos. People who have ideas but don't follow them because of their inability to code, edit, or draw can bring their ideas to life with AI apps.

Realm AI, for instance, allows creative people to produce interesting images, selfie upgrades, and avatars from their words. A low barrier to entry allows more people to engage in creative work.

Boosts Productivity

Aside from the arts, AI has made the most impact in data sorting fields. AI's capacity for remembering and following rules is much larger than that of humans. That's why it is capable of proofing, editing, sorting, and coding at a much larger scale. People using AI can produce more work compared to those who don't use it.

Is cheaper than human labor

In some instances, you might not need to hire a gig worker to get an asset or execute a task because you can do it with the help of AI. For instance, potential singers who are limited by their inability to hire sound engineers can now use AI apps like audo.ai to enhance their audio.

On the one hand, this can threaten the job security of gig-working audio engineers. But on the other end, it allows more people to fulfill their potential. Economic constraints that keep undiscovered talent undiscovered are no longer as tight as they used to be before AI.

It Opens Up New Possibilities

By removing economic and technical constraints, artificial Intelligence is making possible what was previously impossible for most people. Let's take an example of a photographer who uses Clickdrop's AI relighting tool, Relight, to improve their images. Because the tool is powered by AI and can relight photos quicker than a human using Lightroom, the photographer can get their work done quicker.

They can dedicate the rest of their time to learning videography and become a better-skilled polymath who is more valuable to the market. Prior to AI, they would not have been able to broaden the scope of their services.

The Cons of AI

Almost all of the scaremongering around artificial intelligence revolves around the potential for AI to replace human workers. The problem with this reductive analysis is that it keeps more realistic drawbacks of AI from being noticed. AI will not replace humans, but it will change the human resources landscape. In this section, you'll find the realistic drawbacks of AI and its potential solutions.

Job Market Disruption

Some jobs might be permanently lost to AI, while others might be disrupted to the point where they are virtually as good as gone. In the short term, fewer people will have opportunities to provide value to the marketplace because of the demands that artificial intelligence can fill.

Across a long enough time scale, this disadvantage might vanish. For at least a decade, the currently employed white-collar employees remain at risk of being made redundant.

Potential Solution: Upskilling, cross-skilling, and constant learning, are a few ways to fix the AI job disruption issue. While the jury is out on whether AI will replace human workers, it is confirmed that it will transform how humans work. By learning how to work with AI, especially in economically significant roles, employees can ensure that AI doesn't replace them even temporarily.

Lower Demand For Human Labor

Lower demand for human labor might be a good thing in a non-economic world. But in a world where capital and market value are directly proportional to one's lifestyle, AI's ability to do some tasks just as well as humans can be a significant drawback.

Potential solution: most employees can introduce AI to their respective employers as a productivity multiplier. Companies make money being providing more value or cutting the cost of doing business. AI can help on both ends.
 It can help brands generate more output or reduce the working hours of their employees. By focusing on using AI to provide more value, employees can ensure that they remain irreplaceable in the workplace.

Misuse For Nefarious Purposes

While AI and human productivity can be reconciled with the creation of new jobs, AI misuse is much harder to regulate. Chat GPT and other popular AIGC tools have guardrails that prevent their respective models from generating hate speech or aiding in misinformation.
 That doesn't stop people with private machine learning algorithms from using AI to create scandalous deep fakes and misinforming articles.

Potential Solution: Open AI CEO Sam Altman is on an ongoing campaign, which may result in legislation and regulation to minimize the dangers of AI. When the legislation around AI is updated, it will solve more than one problem.

Intellectual Property Ownership Disputes

Because AI can generate content, including images, articles, and even entire books, and the copyright law doesn't protect much of what AI makes, intellectual property disputes are bound to occur. It will take some time for the current copyright laws to catch up with the technological advancement of AI.

Potential solution: While the legislation and regulations are in the process of being updated, AI users can limit the use of generative artificial Intelligence to non-commercial purposes.

Harmless uses of AI, including AI avatar creation and social media images made with AI apps like Realm AI, are far less problematic than complete books written with the help of AI. But even if you use GPT-4 to generate an entire book, you can use plagiarism detection tools to make sure the AI hasn't accidentally generated an exact copy of a paragraph or sentence string published elsewhere.

May Promote Laziness

Finally, the long-term impact of AI on humans may be its most significant drawback. Qualitative analysis suggests that people in cultures with low car-reliance are more physically fit than car-reliant ones. If AI can do most tasks that require thinking and being creative, the average human's capacity for deep thought might diminish.

Potential Solution

Cal Newport's Book, Digital Minimalism, is an excellent roadmap for living with technology without letting it diminish one's human capacity. That said, it will be everyone's individual responsibility to preserve their creative instincts, capacity for deep research, and other abilities that may not be required with AI advancement.

Less Nuance

The shallowness of online discourse has already created division and polarized our social experience. Because AI lacks nuance, relying on it for research might produce polarized studies, articles, and viewpoints. As globalization and virtual borderlessness make raises our awareness regarding problems in different cultures, nuance is crucial.
 AI lacks the nuance for appropriate content moderation, which leads to frustrating and unfair content takedowns. If a similar lack of nuance becomes a staple of AIGC, then social polarization might increase.

The Scaremongering Hypothesis

The anti-AI group is starting to sound much like the anti-calculator and anti-radio crowds from the past. While there has been resistance at every technological leap, the doomsday scenario being peddled regarding AI is far more exaggerated than past tech leaps.

Math teachers protested against calculators in 1988. But even in 2023, calculators have not replaced math teachers. Still, the "[Latest technology] will replace the [latest group]" argument is firmly in place. With regard to AI, the hypothesis goes that AI will destroy the economy and may usher in an era of extreme economic inequality.

Anti-AI activists argue that if AI ever replaces human labor completely, every person outside the producing class will be left without an income. There's sufficient proof that without income, the current economic system can't run. This catastrophic projection makes most people want to dismiss AI altogether.

However, the reasoning behind the "AI will end the world" is deeply flawed. Industrial farming didn't replace farmers. It increased agricultural output. Cameras didn't replace portrait painters. They created a parallel form of portraiture. 

Digital illustration tools simply shifted the medium of illustration and created many more illustration jobs than before. In retrospect, each technological advancement has proven to be a net positive for humans. So, let's explore a more optimistic projection.

The Optimistic Hypothesis

Capitalism has been criticized for its flaws, including its inability to account for generational inequality. But capitalism is required because of human labor's existence. It is the other way around. Human labor exists because capitalism requires products and services.

If machines can produce and serve, then humans don't need labor as a measure of value. In a world where AI takes over all of the jobs, Universal Basic Income (UBI) might become a realistic solution. 

Human activity and pursuits would be independent of their economic productivity. And as nice as that sounds, even AI insiders don't believe that to be the future that artificial Intelligence might bring about.

The Realistic Projection

The most realistic projection regarding the future of AI doesn't require an extreme departure. It simply requires viewing AI as any other tool or technological progress. artificial intelligence will increase human productivity and change job descriptions.

It might make certain roles redundant and create just as many jobs if not business owners. It will aid humans in sorting data, researching, and creating media and apps. Most of the repetitive tasks will no longer require human labor, leaving more cerebral, physical, and creative tasks to humans.

AI And The Arts: Can AI Affect Creative Industries?

AI can and will affect most creative industries because of its ability to generate creative work at scale. That said, it will not replace human creativity or artists because of the difference between human creativity and artificial creativity.

You can read more about how human and AI creativity differ by clicking here.

Overall, AI will become an integral part of commercial creativity, while human creatives will take on more of a prompt-engineering role to generate corporate assets at scale. Art that celebrates human creativity and is made for the sake of the artistic process will still be made by humans. The gap between digital art and AI art is bound to shrink, and fan art commissions are likely to drop.

AI And Data Entry: Can AI Affect Data Entry?

AI might replace data entry if input mechanisms get good enough. Currently, image recognition technology is already making data typing redundant in some fields. But given that data entry isn't doesn't require skilled labor, skilled employees in data analysis and handling will not be affected by AI.

AI And Programming: Can AI Affect Programming?

AI will shift developers from the role of manual coding to code editing and monitoring. As of now, AI is capable of generating viable code but is far from replacing developers. It is going to speed up the app and web development processes and will make much more complex apps possible in the future.

AI And Finance: Can AI Affect Finance?

While AI-powered trading bots have been used on a small scale for ETF management and even day trading, humans aren't ready to hand over their financial fate to AI. That is not to say that artificial Intelligence cannot become competent enough in financial planning, investing, and trading to make human experts redundant.

The more likely outcome of AI's integration into the finance industry is that hedge funds and brokers will need fewer employees to produce more value.

AI And Writing: Can AI Affect Writers?

AI can affect writers in the documentation, knowledge base, and guide writing niches. If Google and other search services greenlight AI-generated content, and blog owners don't have to worry about potential ranking penalties, AI can force online content writers to take a more editorial role.

AI And Customer Support: Can AI Affect Customer Support?

Chatbots have become common in the chat-based customer support space. Each leap in GPT sophistication brings us closer to a world with fewer customer service agents. Still, there will always be a need for a human to understand and process complaints that don't fit what the AI is programmed to solve.

AI And Law: Can AI Affect Lawyers?

AI can reduce the number of paralegals needed in law firms. But advocates and legal advisors still need to be humans. The homework and the paperwork side of the law will heavily rely on artificial intelligence for sorting and detection tasks, especially in the discovery phase.

AI And Animation: Can AI Affect Animators?

AI might reduce the number of human animators required to produce an animated TV show or movie. On the one hand, it will open up the door for more people to tell stories on a budget. But on the other, it will reduce employment opportunities in the short term. Over the long term, though, more animation studios could open up because of a lower barrier to entry.

AI And Music: Can AI Affect Singers And Producers?

AI will allow singers to sell the likeness of their voice for posthumous release. Because AI can generate any song in any singer's voice with enough training data, one voice likeness contract can bring about that future.

With the ability to AI-generate songs in the voices of existing pop singers, rappers, and musical artists, top record labels will not need to sign as many new acts. Fortunately, indie music doesn't require label co-signs, so new singers are not barred by AI.

Music producers, however, have much to worry about. Established producers will incorporate AI tools to do their work in less time, but gig-working producers who freelance for new acts and fresh singers might be out of work. Customer-facing solutions that auto-master and mix vocals can eliminate the demand for freelance mastering and mixing services.

AI and Transport: Can AI Affect Drivers?

AI can replace cargo drivers once driverless cars become legal. Currently, AI-powered self-driving features can help drivers relax and take breaks on long uncrowded roads. But the autonomy level of these features is bumped down to protect pedestrians. Whether drivers will be replaced by AI is for the legal system and the economic feasibility to decide. If the law allows driverless cars on roads and the vehicles are cheap enough, the demand for driving jobs will go down.

Final Thoughts

AI is not very likely to replace humans, but it will replace certain job functions. It is great at following rules, and the better it gets at sorting, analyzing, and generating, the more productive it will make individuals, cultures, and countries. Humans will be in an editorial role wherever the main job is done by AI. How the future turns out depends on whether companies increase their productivity because of AI or choose to maintain productivity while replacing workers with AI. No one knows for sure what the future holds, but you can futureproof your career and life by learning about AI and embracing it as a tool within your profession.