There’s been lots of handwringing this week about Buzzfeed’s announcement that it will be using AI to write content from human prompts. Loads of journalists saying are saying this is wrong and they hope it fails.
1) This isn’t going to fail. Not in the long run. In the same way that AI will *eventually* put long-haul truckers and cabbies out of business, AI will *eventually* put commodity journalists out of business. And a hundred other careers.
1.5) I have a teenage son who officially dropped out of high school, THIS WEEK, in order to pursue a career in music. (Don’t worry, he’s already working on his GED). I’m also coaching a client who is working on algorithmically generated music, which could put an end to his career aspirations. It’s a complicated world.
2) I sympathize with everyone who is suddenly feeling their lives put at existential risk. How will I support myself? How will I support my family? What’s my career moving forward? What do I even bother investing time into? These are truly scary questions and it’s human nature to lash out when threatened.
2.5) The answer to the above question, despite the last decade of guidance, is probably not “learn to code”. AI is coming for that industry as well (see GitHub Copilot).
3) Now is the time to be thinking beyond any individual industry and start working on an economic strategy predicated on the idea that many citizens may never have the opportunity for a meaningful job, or a job at all. It’s “what are we all going to do?” vs “what am I going to do?“
We are rapidly moving towards a world where AI will take over information processing and (eventually) robots will take over most repetitive physical tasks. Instead of thinking about the writers or the coders, we need to start to re-envision how we’ll support a world full of people with a ton of free time on their hands and not a ton of opportunities to be additive.
Capitalism’s insatiable appetite for efficiency will eventually win out. What are we going to do then?
3.5) More than ever, a career in the trades looks pretty good. That’s what I’ve suggested to my son — plumbing in particular — along with playing a lot of guitar.
— Eric Marcoullier
I’m feeling very inspired to write these days. At least for a while, you should expect a couple of articles each week. No idea how long this wave will last, but I’m gonna ride the wave until it ends.