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Money & Markets: AI chatbots will replace jobs – but not the cool ones

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ChatGPT is great at churning out spam-like text, which means people who currently write fluff and waffle will be out of a job, but governments will race to regulate it.

According to Goldman Sachs, AI will automate 37 per cent of architecture and engineering tasks. For Luddites, this means 37 per cent fewer engineering jobs, yet we number people know Pareto and his distribution and understand that 80 per cent of the work we do is worth 20 per cent of the total value of our output and that with the removal of nearly half of our loathed spam tasks, AI will actually mean we can do so much more cool stuff.

After getting over the wonder of AI writing broken limericks in the style of Edgar Allen Poe, the realisation is that AI creates spam. AI plays ‘consequences’ with the bell curve and pops out a spam cliché of the average hive mind.

However, ChatGPT, the AI sensation, is ushering in a new era. According to Goldman Sachs, 25 per cent of jobs are already on the block. This is surprising in a way because ChatGPT simply generates clever spam and amounts to a fabulous autocomplete generating spammy outputs packed with fluff and waffle. Yet the writing is on the wall for many roles, which by implication must be spam jobs.

The unleashing of ChatGPT has flushed out a host of AI projects from stealth mode who one can guess got an input prompt of the rocket category from their investors ‘encouraging them’ to go live or miss the gravy train. The gravy train of capital has dried since the Federal Reserve reversed QE and began draining money in QT, so what better for venture capital (VC) to end the money drought than flip some of the latest ‘new new thing’. All sorts of projects have pulled back the curtain, with many automating tasks in the generative arts.

Seeing this, powerful generators of old-fashioned spam are fizzing with fear and dread that they are about to become obsolete, which is perhaps why lawmakers have sprinted off the blocks to begin the blizzard of regulation to halt AI, at least for the masses. No doubt government will not regulate their own usage or censor AI’s output of potentially contentious results. It is not a surprise to note that Chinese AI servers have multiple HD video inputs with fewer but obviously useful HD video outputs. Of course that is nothing to worry yourself about, Winston.

AI has always been a dream of market speculators because what could be better than a superhuman intelligence to tell you where to put your lazy money. Sadly, in the old days, markets were very random and no order of computing could find repeating patterns to predict the future where there weren’t any. These days, with markets driven by politics, they are not nearly as random, so perhaps AI will have its day. The moment won’t last long, however, because the law of markets will kick in as AI versus AI will make the market random again via preemptive competition.

Companies, many of which envision their employees as ‘stock,’ as I recently learned to my horror, are keen to destock in the post-Covid atomised working from home (WFH) environment. HR is also one of the functions pegged as automatable and one can imagine that atomised organisations have a much cleaner vision of granular productivity, with WFH companies having a much simpler environment to reorganise their ‘stock’ when their units of labour are separated in isolated cells. AI is being made a pretext to optimise their ‘stock’ but it can’t be blamed for it as ‘natural stupidity’ is really the model for fears of ‘artificial intelligence’ running amok.

Meanwhile the unregulated, rather subterranean VC industry is pumping its AI investments. Microsoft invested $10bn in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, and other impressive AI gizmos from other mighty Silicon titans like Google’s ‘Bard’ are being revealed.

The stock markets are bound to go wild when AI companies head for IPOs sometime in the next two-three years, and by then who knows what AI will be doing.

There is plenty to fear, in the same way weavers feared the loom or farmers feared mechanisation. The outcome will, however, be increased productivity unleashing human potential.

AI is a really poor software dev but a great programming buddy and until it refuses to open the pod bay doors, we will all be safe enough and should buy the stock.

(NB: When I asked ChatGPT4 to improve this article is took out all my jokes, sarcasm, snarkiness and made it smarmy. Desiccation might actually be AI’s true danger to humanity.)

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