11 July 2024

AI is not going to seize our jobs as many dread, but it surely is going to transform the future of jobs. However, we, humans, possess qualities that AI still could not replace: judgment, logic and empathy, so there are things we can do to catch up with the future jobs trend.

Nowadays, technology has performed tasks that were once thought impossible, improved work efficiency and optimized resources such as time and manpower. Recently, when the emerging generative AI such as ChatGPT is breaking what was once thought of as human’s speciality like creative works, the fright of AI taking over our jobs has creeped into the minds of many.

“Some creative jobs will definitely be replaced if humans do not catch up with the knowledge of the field. People won’t lose their jobs because of AI. But, those who fail to correct or supervise the AI’s work might.” said Ronnapong Kamnuanthip, the regional managing director of the Mind AI during the New Wave of AI: New Era of Crowdsourcing Intelligence event, hosted by Sasin School of Management on 15th Mar 2023.

Despite the seemingly transcending abilities, AI has its own limitations. Imagine having the AI prosecutors or surgeons, how many of us feel comfortable with that? AI can process tons of information for us in no time, yet, it could not make any ethical judgment or decision that requires human logic and empathy–and that is where humans step in.

AI is not magic anyway. It is a set of knowledge done by statistics. The only differences we should be aware of now is that that set of knowledge is not a limited box anymore but an infinite one that is bigger than humans can ever fathom.

How should human live and work with the AI

“We shouldn’t be afraid of technology. Instead, we should approach it, learn more about how it works, its strengths and weaknesses.” Ronnaphong further comments.

Humans are those who experience the consequences of AI’s work. It is important for us to understand how it works, the logic behind, what they know, their limitations and the calculated risk they could possibly cause. Then we would be able to work with it towards the same objective.

“The limitation of AI is that even if it could process 40,000 pages of documents in a night,  it does not have any ethical judgments nor could it make decisions for us. It would never feel shame or guilt if it did anything wrong. We are those who take responsibility for it. But, if we know to what extent AI can do for us, we can have it screening documents overnight so that we can make decisions the next morning. This is the new job for humans.” said Panachit Kittipanya-Ngam Ph.D., the CEO and Co-Founder of the technology company ZTRUS.

Assessing irreplaceable human qualities such as empathy, interpersonal understanding, or judgment and developing them is also suggested by people who work closely with technology development. As AI works for mass processing, humans should be focusing on enriching the depth of our judgment and values we share as humankind.

Understanding AI and reassessing human’s specialization are only a few abstract aspects of reskilling and upskilling humans for future work. The concrete aspects such as providing work training, equating relevant technological accesses and closing digital gaps for workers are crucial in the transition.

Since, the labor market foresees a drastic change, the reskilling and upskilling for workers have to be done systematically. When we talk about AI and future work, it is not about, and should not, be merely technological advancement through the eyes of technologists, scientists, data analysts etc.

The issue of future work with AI has to be talking about the other result and societal issues that might come after as the society couldn’t catch up with the technological growth.

We are all going to be affected by the changing jobs in the future, so we need to plan for inclusive job markets–this should include the government, the ministry of labors, entrepreneurs, education institutions and those who are able tap into the logic, judgment and empathy of humanity–the people from various walks of life–us

By Atikan Kulsakdinun