Most people I talk to about AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard, or Midjourney fall into one of three camps:
- They have no idea what I’m talking about.
- They are in denial that non-human intelligence can be that good.
- They understand how good these tools are and are very afraid.
Since you’re reading this, my guess is you’re in camp 3 — you’re afraid. You see how much better these tools are and think it’s only a matter of time until AI comes for your job too.
But what you’re missing is that only 30% of people have even heard of these tools.
Most people in the US, let alone the rest of the world, don’t even know these AI tools exist. They don’t see the AI tsunami on the horizon. Since you’re among the few who know about these tools and have experimented with them, you’re already far ahead of the wave.
Will AI take jobs? Absolutely. I normally hire an editor to review these posts. Now, ChatGPT edits them for me and provides feedback instantly.
The question is not whether AI will reduce jobs or not; that is already happening. The question is if the AI wave will take your job. And the answer is no.
You are curious. You are already using these tools. You might be afraid of the consequences. But when push comes to shove, you can get the results you want out of these tools.
A long time ago, I visited a Ford Motor Company supplier that made electronic switches for cars. The grandson of the factory founder, now the owner, was showing my group around. He showed the mostly automated switch manufacturing process from raw plastic and sheet metal to finished, QA-approved products out the other side. He showed the trucks waiting to be filled up before hitting the road. Finally, he showed us the office where the engineers came up with designs for new switches. Each desk had a computer on it but was also a drafting table. The grandson informed us they switched over from manual processes to Auto CAD in the early ’90s but never removed the tables.
I asked him how the transition was and how they trained the engineers to use computers. He mentioned they provided classes for everyone, and those who couldn’t figure it out were moved on. AI is no different. Each person at a company is now significantly more efficient, just like what happened 30–40 years ago during the shift from physical to digital. Those who adapt keep their jobs but use a new tool. Those who can’t adapt lose their jobs and have to figure something else out.
So, will you lose your job to AI?
Only if you don’t adapt.
Using a new tool is a habit. Focus on building that habit now. Use it to write emails, edit a paper, and start learning more about how to get the best answer out of it. But whatever you do, don’t cast it aside out of fear, because I can assure you the genie is out of the bottle. AI is not going away; it’s only getting rapidly more powerful and deeply embedded into every aspect of our lives.
Many people will lose the only livelihoods they have known.
It’s sad, but it’s nothing new.
Every technological leap has had the same effect. It’s up to you to harness that fear to get better at using these tools so that you’re the one telling the AI what to do instead of being one of the ones replaced by it.