The introduction of ChatGPT has opened a world of possibility for how AI can reshape the world around us, but it has also unlocked a sense of fear across the economy, with employees at all levels worried about the replacement of a human workforce by an AI one.
If you ask me, this worry is misplaced.
Rather than AI being a replacement technology, it holds great potential to act as a democratizing force in the workforce. For instance, workers can use AI to uplevel their skills, think bigger picture, and change careers on a dime as their interests and passions evolve.
However, this is only possible if AI is available to all through a level playing field. Otherwise, we risk a new kind of digital divide – the AI divide, where only some are working at their true potential.
Is AI the new search engine?
The generative AI alarm clock is ringing, and we are collectively waking up to the opportunities that come with it. AI provides a great opportunity for all economic classes to do things that were once only possible to those who spent years in a university, creating an amazing opportunity to close bridges in the socioeconomic divide. In essence, I see AI as a new superpower that levels the playing field.
The AI we encounter today, with the likes of ChatGPT, Dall-E, and Stable Diffusion, represents a significant departure from its predecessors. These advanced AI systems possess an unprecedented level of human-like capabilities, imbuing them with a sense of empathy and understanding that was once unimaginable. However, similar to the early days of mastering search engines like Google, the lack of access to current AI technologies hinders individuals from harnessing their power and extracting information.
These areas colliding bring an alarming viewpoint; even though most consumers now have an internet connection, 61% are concerned that new digital experiences like the metaverse, AI and AR will increase the digital divide due to cost, access, and more.
Further, a staggering 66% of full-time workers in the US expressed their desire for employers to offer AI solutions. Most respondents were interested in leveraging AI to enhance their work lives, making them more fulfilling and efficient. It’s a clear indication that AI has the potential to improve our professional experiences rather than replace them. 28% of full-time workers in the US wish for AI to train them in new areas, allowing them to expand their skill sets and adapt to changing market demands.
AI makes closing the digital divide even more imperative
As we witness the convergence of AI’s transformative power and the concerns surrounding accessibility, it becomes evident that bridging the digital divide is imperative. Despite most people having internet access, there is a genuine worry that the costs and availability of cutting-edge digital experiences like the metaverse, AI, and AR might exacerbate the inequality gap. Because of this, closing this digital divide is a shared responsibility that requires collaborative efforts from all participants within the ecosystem, from government to tech companies to cloud service providers. For all players involved, it is crucial to ensure that AI tools and resources are widely accessible to foster inclusivity and empower individuals from all walks of life.
By embracing AI tools and training, individuals can tap into their potential, broaden their horizons, and seamlessly navigate career transitions as their interests evolve. By embracing AI’s capabilities and also ensuring its access is available to all, we can bridge the socioeconomic divide and unlock a future where individuals can excel, adapt, and shape their own destinies. Let’s seize this new superpower and usher in a world where AI empowers all.
- Why Democratizing the Workforce Starts with Demystifying AI - July 7, 2023