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No more heavy lifting

I have been hearing this rhetoric that “Ai” bots will take over everyone’s jobs, namely programmers and pretty much any digital task based work. I want to explain how far that is from reality.

As for my qualifications to speak on this subject: In 2018 I became obsessed with Cognitive Tookit, Caffe2, and PyTorch. In 2019, I lead a team to build two projects with OpenAI’s developer API SDK.  I have hired NLP and Machine Learning developers. I have passively followed LLM and ML ever since.

Ai will take you job is sort of accurate. More like take it to the next level.

In 2001, I was helping my retired uncle clean up his basement. Down there, we found what look like a travel tool chest with wheels and a handle. Inside had a gigantic laptop, a printer, and stacks of paper. The whole thing weighed damn near 50 pounds. My uncle was a traveling executive controller for massive brands like Pepsi Co. and the Eaton family. His small assistant would wheel this thing between offices, cars, and planes. This entire machinery became pretty much obsolete when everyone started utilizing email.

Toshiba T6600 (circa 1994)

Now the question isn’t whether my uncle’s role was replaced. That’s obvious. Instead, the question would be if his assistant lost their job as there was no longer a need to refill paper, data entry, and print documents.
I am going to say no because my retired uncle is still technology inept even with email. I assume the assistant’s role had evolved to drafting and sending those emails on his behalf. The job didn’t change; electronic mail and documents just took out the heavy lifting. Literally.

There’s no doubt Ai is smart. Smarter than most people like you and I. The sum of knowledge these systems possess is beyond any single person will ever know.

But know this: a plumber doesn’t need to understand the molecular interactions of atoms in water to improve the function of a valve. A scientist who went through years of field-specific formal education possesses knowledge that cannot be broken down by Ai in a way that will make you or I the same level expert.

Ai is simply a tool to take away the heavy lifting. Just like how we have with the birth of the Internet and search engines, jobs weren’t destroyed. They evolved and created new purpose. We don’t know what Ai can be used for yet which means anything is possible, and right now we’re in the beginning trial stages to see what we will adopt to improve our life longingly. I personally think this is the end of search. Less guess work and more validated singular result that all depends how well we frame our query. One thing is certain is we all need to be able to ask good and leading questions and commands.

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