Generative AI isn’t new – it’s been around for years. However, the introduction of ChatGPT and DALLE has catapulted the technology into the forefront of the consumer’s mind.
As such, there’s been a recent buzz and much discussion about just how this exciting and enthralling – not so-new – technology will disrupt, innovate and transform industries.
Generative AI isn’t new - it’s been around for years. However, the introduction of ChatGPT and DALLE has catapulted the technology into the forefront of the consumer’s mind. As such, there’s been a recent buzz and much discussion about just how this exciting and enthralling - not so-new - technology will disrupt, innovate and transform industries.
So, is AI stealing our jobs?
The issue of not truly understanding how smart AI can be has started the fearmonger's tongues wagging. Rather than embracing AI's possibilities, the most conversated narrative around generative AI is whether it's out to steal our jobs.
This unrest comes from the potentially scary scenario that AI is a one-to-one replacement for humans. Take, for example, Levi’s AI-generated models referenced in our earlier blog. And added to this is how AI might trade off the many benefits of human creativity - harking back to the recent AI-generated winner of the Sony World Photography Award 2023.
It is a tricky topic. And to be fair, one that every industry, including fashion, has been grappling with ever since the days of early automation. It would be naive to suggest things won’t change - especially in creative industries such as fashion, design, art, marketing, and advertising.
Or is it just making them more interesting?
As transformative as AI is expected to be, it will never replace professionals. In fact, it will complement and enhance employees' performance. In our view, it will encourage the development of a new generation of 'AI Prompt Producers', where professionals will continue to use their skills to push detail and quality.
In other words, instead of stealing our jobs, AI has the potential to take on mundane tasks and, as a result, make jobs more interesting. Moreover, it will create new opportunities, and research supports this too. The World Economic Forum predicts by 2025, 97 million new roles will be created thanks to AI.
I’m not scared of AI now - how can I start using it?
As mentioned, AI relies on human input. Therefore, it follows that effective use of it will require specific skill sets from these ‘AI Prompt producers’ or the know-how to ask the right questions. People will still need to know their subject inside and out to judge what the machine produces.
The first issue to tackle, then, if your business wants to start utilising AI, is making sure that employees, as well as their own industry knowledge, have at least the basics of the tech nailed. And most importantly, can wield it.
Don’t panic. It’s all about understanding what tools or skills are important. Consider how many people can, for example, do mental long-division since calculators came into existence - it’s saving headspace for the important things! In a nutshell, some of your technical people may need to know the depths of how AI works; other technical people may not have to deal with it at all.
So, AI doesn’t mean everyone must be able to build a bot. It means that if an aspect of a job role involves writing customer service emails all day, the employee should understand those specific tools and how they could make creating those emails easier.
Ironically, the next steps aren’t about AI; they’re about your employees!
The problem is this natural distrust. Acknowledging that AI can create new jobs and /or make current roles easier does not stop this pervasive fear that it might steal them. And as a demonstration, it’s the big question that has spurred this blog and made it a key theme in our ‘AI and Design’ series in the first place.
Fear of displacement is natural. So, as a company, address this head-on. Encourage staff that this isn't taking their job. It's just allowing them to do more with less or allowing them to do more exciting stuff.
The onus is on employers to show their employees that AI is a tool, first and foremost, not the competition. Afterwards, teach employees how to use these tools tailored to their roles and expertise to upskill and do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. You're sure to get much more interesting, innovative, and creative work (from your AI and team) this way too.