The AI Revolution
The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has shifted the dynamics of how our world and society function. AI is a powerful technology -- a concept that dates back to ancient Greece -- and continues to develop, greatly impacting the job market, creating demand for more technology in several industries, as well as the destruction and creation of different jobs. Automation allows people to stop doing repetitive duties and have more time for creative and innovative tasks. Professions eliminated or transformed by AI include telemarketers and supermarket cashiers while jobs created include chatbot and virtual assistant trainers and AI engineers.
As described in 2004 by John McCarthy, an American computer scientist and one of the pioneers in the field of Artificial Intelligence, AI is the science and engineering behind intelligent machines and computer programs. In 1995, Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, prominent computer scientists, being the former a professor at the University of California Berkeley, and the latter a director of research at Google, published “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach”, a textbook explaining the four potential goals of AI based on whether they prioritize rationality and thinking or acting. In 1956, Newell, Shaw, and Simon, influential computer scientists and cognitive psychologists, developed the Logic Theorist program, one of the first artificial intelligence programs designed to prove mathematical theorems, which led to accelerated AI research. With computers becoming faster and more accessible, as well as machine learning algorithms improving, AI development flourished (Anyoha).
The Fourth Industrial Revolution represented a shift in our society, from traditional, analog, and manual systems to a new era of digital technological advancements, automation, and artificial intelligence. An article released by the World Economic Forum stated that this revolution is consistent with the digital transformation of industries and societies, as well as the progress of automation and machine learning (Fourth Industrial Revolution). Klaus Schwab, a German engineer and economist, and founder of the World Economic Forum, at first coined the term “Industry 4.0” to describe the impacts of AI, automation and technology in industries. Hence, the emergence of AI during the fourth Industrial Revolution has enabled machines and systems to simulate human intelligence, triggering several changes in our society.
One of the notable advantages to the development of Artificial Intelligence is the arrival of new jobs on the market. A report released by The World Economic Forum has predicted that AI will replace about 85 million jobs but it may also create 97 million new roles. For instance, the need for software engineers and computer scientists is increasing in the market while the majority of customer service jobs are now being performed by machines (“The Impact of AI on the Job Market and the Future of Work”). In addition to the creation of various new jobs, AI has created a complex network of knowledge where people are able to retain information quickly and efficiently by asking simple prompts, as in the new artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and released in November 2022: ChatGPT (Wiggers and Stringer).
Although Artificial Intelligence has brought many positive impacts, it brings several concerns and drawbacks as well. Platforms like ChatGPT create texts, poems, and even songs; therefore, people are not showing originality when performing tasks anymore (Montti). Furthermore, another major concern is the potential for personal information to be accessed, leaked or violated without authorization.
Artificial intelligence has deeply impacted the way individuals communicate with each other. In the past, people were only able to exchange ideas by talking in person or sending each other letters, which often took a long time to arrive at the recipient’s location. However, with AI, information can be exchanged much more quickly, especially with the creation of websites such as ChatGPT and other AI systems that can quickly send information to users.
The development of AI has led to several positive impacts, such as the quick and efficient spread of information, the creation of numerous new jobs, and the automation of tasks. Nevertheless, it also has some concerning aspects on ethical and privacy matters and on education. Overall, the development of Artificial Intelligence has been shifting our way of thinking and how society functions by generating both positive and negative consequences.
Anyoha, Rockwell. “The History of Artificial Intelligence.” Science in the News, 23 Apr. 2020, sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/history-artificial-intelligence/.
Montti, Roger. “11 Disadvantages of CHATGPT Content.” Search Engine Journal, 2 Feb. 2023, www.searchenginejournal.com/disadvantages-chatgpt-content/477416/#close.
Schwab, Klaus. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/about/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-by-klaus-schwab. Accessed 25 May 2023.
“What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) ?” IBM, www.ibm.com/topics/artificial-intelligence. Accessed 25 May 2023.
Wiggers , Kyle, and Alyssa Stringer. “CHATGPT: Everything You Need to Know about the AI-Powered Chatbot.” TechCrunch, 25 May 2023, techcrunch.com/2023/05/24/chatgpt-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-open-ai-powered-chatbot/.
“The Impact of AI on the Job Market and the Future of Work.” Intellect Data, 23 Feb. 2023, intellectdata.com/the-impact-of-ai-on-the-job-market-and-the-future-of-work/#:~:text=AI%20is%20having%20a%20significant,create%2097%20million%20new%20roles