AI: Big Ideas Become Money Savers and Cost Cutters

December 6, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

Earlier this week (November 28, 2023,) The British newspaper The Guardian published “Sports Illustrated Accused of Publishing Articles Written by AI.” The main idea is that dependence on human writers became the focus of a bunch of bean counters. The magazine has a reasonably high profile among a demographic not focused on discerning the difference between machine output and sleek, intellectual, well groomed New York “real” journalists. Some cared. I didn’t. It’s money ball in the news business.

The day before the Sports Illustrated slick business and PR move, I noted a Murdoch-infused publication’s revelation about smart software. Barron’s published “AI Will Create—and Destroy—Jobs. History Offers a Lesson.” Barron’s wrote about it; Sports Illustrated got snared doing it.

Barron’s said:

That AI technology will come for jobs is certain. The destruction and creation of jobs is a defining characteristic of the Industrial Revolution. Less certain is what kind of new jobs—and how many—will take their place.

Okay, the Industrial Revolution. Exactly how long did that take? What jobs were destroyed? What were the benefits at the beginning, the middle, and end of the Industrial Revolution? What were the downsides of the disruption which unfolded over time? Decades wasn’t it?

The AI “revolution” is perceived to be real. Investors, testosterone-charged venture capitalists, and some Type A students are going to make the AI Revolution a reality. Damn, the regulators, the copyright complainers, and the dinobabies who want to read, think, and write themselves.

Barron’s noted:

A survey conducted by LinkedIn for the World Economic Forum offers hints about where job growth might come from. Of the five fastest-growing job areas between 2018 and 2022, all but one involve people skills: sales and customer engagement; human resources and talent acquisition; marketing and communications; partnerships and alliances. The other: technology and IT. Even the robots will need their human handlers.

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I can think of some interesting jobs. Thanks, MSFT Copilot. You did ingest some 19th century illustrations, didn’t you, you digital delight.

Now those are rock solid sources: Microsoft’s LinkedIn and the charming McKinsey & Company. (I think of McKinsey as the opioid innovators, but that’s just my inexplicable predisposition toward an outstanding bastion of ethical behavior.)

My problem with the Sports Illustrated AI move and the Barron’s essay boils down to the bipolarism which surfaces when a new next big thing appears on the horizon. Predicting what will happen when a technology smashes into business billiard balls is fraught with challenges.

One thing is clear: The balls are rolling, and journalists, paralegals, consultants, and some knowledge workers are going to find themselves in the side pocket. The way out might be making TikToks or selling gadgets on eBay.

Some will say, “AI took our jobs, Billy. Now what?” Yes, now what?

Stephen E Arnold, December 6, 2023

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