Will AI take my job?

humans queuing towards a door in a large industrial building asking will AI take my job?

This is the question everyone is asking.

As for the answer, the bad news is yes, but the good news is not all of it.

I believe that artificial intelligence will, in the next couple of years, replace large parts of most people’s work. Why? Two reasons:

  1. A job, by its very nature, is replaceable. History shows that someone (and now something) can and will always do it faster and cheaper.
  2. AI development and application is undergoing exponential growth. It’s gone beyond the point of containment – you can’t put the genie back in the lamp.

Before you stop reading, let me unpack how I came to this conclusion. I know there’s a lot of hype and panicky commentary on AI right now, with a lot of people talking about how it will change everything, or end us all. But the AI wave is real, and I actually think there’s a hopeful outcome for us.

AI is coming!

In reality, AI is already here, doing things that used to be people’s jobs. It’s already making decisions about your daily life whether you realise it or not. AI is deciding how much you pay for your insurance, or how quickly you get a doctor’s appointment. AI tells you which route to take to the place you’re travelling to. It decides what ads and content to show you when you scroll through an app on your phone. And it manages the food is on the shelf in your local supermarket.

AI is already heavily engrained in your everyday life, but at a level you don’t see. Only now, we’re interacting directly with AI through chatbots and other interfaces.

The big change is not that AI is coming; it’s that we’re now starting to notice it’s here.

AI – the hidden helper

People have been using AI to influence decisions, emotions and elections for many years. It’s the ‘black box’ technological marvel that runs our world. We don’t see it but our dependence on it grows day by day, as more companies utilise AI technology in their supply chains for every aspect of your life.

What’s changed, and what provokes the question Will AI take my job?, is that AI use has an increasingly creative or cognitive element to it.

Now you can chat with it and get intelligible, useful and even insightful responses. You can use to analyse images, video, audio and get suggestions for improvements. You can write and improve content and copy. And the point is, you can do these things with AI; it’s no longer hidden away or the private preserve of technical experts.

This is a whole new level of AI use and impact.

I regularly ask AI to summarise my videos and write a LinkedIn post that encourages people to watch – have you noticed?

I don’t use the AI responses word for word. I am not entrusting my whole creative output to AI, but I do use a number of AI-powered tools to improve my writing. I use AI to help me get more done.

For example, I asked ChatGPT to list the five common questions people are asking about AI use.

The first response was, “How does AI impact jobs and the workforce?” and that gave me the idea to write this blog post. To be clear, AI has not produced this text, it’s been written by me and copy-edited by Dave, my long-time human copy editor.

Image showing the text response from ChatGPT.

AI can help you

You can use these tools in your work, too – not as a replacement for your own creative effort but to help you get started with an idea or a blog post. You can ask questions and use the answers as inspiration.

If we take a moment to think about what we consider a job to be, then whether you are employed and have a very defined role or you are self-employed and covering a wide variety of tasks, then I think you can see that there are elements of what you do that could be done by AI. Not all of it, certainly, and probably not in a way that means zero human input… but, there are large aspects of most jobs that can be done faster and cheaper with the help of AI.

But… I don’t like AI!

You might be one of many people who find all this AI talk very overwhelming and quite scary. The ‘head in the sand’ approach is to not use it and hope it goes away (or at least, not affect you). That might work for what you do and what you create which is, of course, perfectly reasonable. It might even be a way of your business standing out!

But that doesn’t mean that AI will stop or slow down. It’s coming and it will be used all around you.

I’m not insisting you have to get involved. Rather, there is little point resisting it on the grounds that you don’t like the sound of it or don’t know where to start. Keeping an open mind is all I am suggesting here, you might surprise yourself with what you discover.

I remember people saying, “I’ll never get an iPhone. How am I supposed to type on a screen! I’ll stick with my Blackberry keyboard, thank you.” Now everyone and their dog has a smartphone.

My business partner Ben and I frequently had to print out websites we built for customers back in 2004 because they didn’t see the need to get an internet connection – the “Why do I need the internet? I have a fax machine!” mentality.

The line between using AI as a tool and using AI to replace jobs is a fuzzy one, but if we look at the exponential growth of the internet and then smartphones, few can argue that this is not coming our way, and fast. AI is not going back in the box. In the same way that jobs that were offshored in the early 2010s haven’t come back.

AI won’t take your job, but it WILL change it

AI will soon be able to do large parts of your ‘job’. This is only bad news if your job is doing the same very simple task over and over again. The reality is most of us have a ‘job’ with many elements that require a variety of skills and expertise. AI will never replicate that exactly but it can help you be more effective and efficient by handling or speeding up certain tasks. Which tasks is up to you. The job is still yours; AI is just helping you do it.

If you’re wondering where to start with AI, I’ve created a guide to my recommended ethical marketing tools.

I also include new and useful AI content in my weekly email which you can subscribe to below.