These are times of change. ChatGPT has arrived in our lives. Is it true that this new technology changes the present and the future of work on multiple dimensions? What is its real capacity to replace tasks that we humans perform today? Is it very different from other technologies that already exist? And can we entrust it with all jobs, tasks and occupations? The truth is that we can only guess at some of the answers to these questions, because like any new technology based on artificial intelligence, it is born, becomes public, and as it is used, it is perfected.
We cannot yet know the maximum reach that this technology will have, but we can put it to the test. That is why we decided to ask the popular robot what the future of work is going to look like, a question we constantly investigate and answer at the IDB through our series The Future of Work in Latin America and the Caribbean. We contrasted his answers with our knowledge built over the years, and in this article, we tell you the results (in italics) and our impressions of the exchange.
The Influence of ChatGPT on the Labor Market
There are different positions and perspectives. Some, such as that of Acemoglu and Johnson in their paper What’s wrong with ChatGPT? focus on the possible risks of using the robot in the workplace. Others focus on its possible uses for activities in specific professions such as real estate sales, or the activities of software developers and journalists. This technology has also attracted the attention of environmental specialists who are exploring the potential use of ChatGPT to investigate and better understand climate change and global warming.
What is certain is that, even with its many imperfections and inaccuracies, ChatGPT technology is a tool that will change the future of work for many, and perhaps the future of education.
But before we move on to imagine this future, let’s ask ChatGPT a few questions and analyze its answers.
We can’t yet know the maximum reach this technology will have, but we can put it to the test.
ChatGPT, Help Us Answer Some Questions
Let’s start with the basic context question:
What’s The Future of Work?
The future of work is a much discussed and studied topic today, and there are different opinions and perspectives on it. However, it is possible to identify some trends and challenges that are likely to shape the future of work.
- First, automation and artificial intelligence are likely to continue to transform the labor market, with the possibility that some tasks will be replaced by technology, while others will require more advanced and specialized skills and knowledge.
- Second, labor flexibility is expected to continue to gain importance, with more workers opting to work from home or remote locations, and with the possibility of having more flexible schedules tailored to their personal needs.
- Teamwork and collaboration are also expected to become more important, with the possibility of working with people from different parts of the world and with different skills and experiences.
- Another relevant aspect is the need for constant updating of job skills and knowledge, which implies the need to continuously learn and adapt to changes in the labor market.
- Finally, it is important to highlight the need to create sustainable jobs that generate a positive impact on society and the environment.
- In summary, the future of work is likely to be marked by automation and technology, labor flexibility, collaboration and teamwork, constant updating of skills and knowledge, and the importance of creating sustainable jobs with a positive impact.
While this information seems general, we believe it sums up fairly well what is often said about the future of work. Not only did it synthesize the known trends of new technologies, automation and increased labor flexibility, but it added to it an additional layer more recently discussed in the future of work arena which is environmental sustainability. It makes sense that it stayed at a fairly general level referring only to “sustainable and positively impactful jobs,” and did not delve much into the impact of climate change action on job destruction, creation and transformation. This impact is being discussed in greater detail in recent years, and the information ChatGPT works with in its most basic version is available up to September 2021.
Is labor flexibility here to stay?
In reference to one of the points you mentioned in your answer to the previous question, labor flexibility, we consulted ChatGPT on the subject. The last article in our series The Future of Work in Latin America and the Caribbean is entitled “is labor flexibility here to stay?”; we asked ChatGPT exactly that.
It replied: Labor flexibility is a trend that has been growing in recent years and has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Work flexibility involves the ability to work from different locations, have flexible schedules, work part-time, among other options. The pandemic has demonstrated that many companies can function effectively with employees working from home or remote locations. This has allowed companies to reduce office costs while allowing employees to have a better quality of life by not having to commute to the office daily. In addition, work flexibility can also help companies attract and retain talent, as many employees value flexibility at work. In short, work flexibility seems to be here to stay, as it has benefits for both companies and employees. However, it’s important to note that implementing work flexibility requires careful planning and proper management to ensure that productivity and efficiency at work is maintained.
Not bad, but clearly this explanation does not replace all the work, research and rigor behind an article in the Future of Work in Latin America and the Caribbean series that today has over 26,000 downloads. Readers want not just a summary of information, but the depth, evidence and data that can only be provided by a team of organized individuals who have been studying and researching the topic for years, and who conducted and analyzed in-depth surveys and interviews with companies and workers in Latin America and the Caribbean on the use of labor flexibility, its effects on production processes during the pandemic, and its future prospects.
How can ChatGPT affect jobs?
In closing, we want to share what Chat GPT told us about the million-dollar question: ”How can ChatGPT affect jobs?”
- As an artificial intelligence-based language model, Chat GPT is not necessarily going to directly affect jobs per se. However, the increasing automation and digitization of many business processes may have an impact on the job market.
- For example, in some cases, GPT Chat and other artificial intelligence tools may be used to automate tasks that previously required human labor, such as customer service or copywriting. This may mean that some jobs involving these tasks may be replaced by technology. On the other hand, technology can also help create new jobs. For example, the development and maintenance of tools such as GPT Chat requires advanced technical skills and knowledge, which can generate job opportunities in areas such as software engineering or data science.
- In short, the implementation of tools such as GPT Chat can have an impact on the labor market, both in terms of replacing certain jobs and creating new jobs. Notwithstanding, technology is not the only force shaping the labor market, and it’s important to continue to develop skills and competencies that can complement and enhance the work of technology.
Cute, ChatGPT is modest! This technology believes that it won’t necessarily change the future of work, and the truth is that it already has competition. GPT-4, a more advanced artificial intelligence application capable of describing images in words, among other novel functions, was recently launched, and more artificial intelligence applications are coming to the market, linked with other platforms, which means that these types of solutions will probably play an even more fundamental role in our day-to-day lives. Like any young technology, its potential is still unknown. We can only wait for it to adjust, learn, and surprise us with its new abilities.
If you want to know more about this tool, we invite you to read this blog focused on the topic of digital health, and this one focused on the potential of ChatGPT in education.