Many have become nervous about their job situation after the latest developments in AI – for the production of both texts, images (and soon much more). And rightfully so! Because something is really happening now, and you’re naive if you think it doesn’t affect you too!
In this post, I want to take a closer look at this development, and how YOU too can secure your job in the future – and yes, maybe even end up with something much better.
Automation moves jobs
Automation of processes is nothing new in that. It has really taken place since industrialization started.
First there were large machines, which took over a lot of manual labor in the factories. Later came i.a. the computer, robots and 3D print into the picture. Each time with major consequences for the existing labor market.
I started my career back in the 80s in the graphic industry. Back then, typographers sat manually and assembled elements for printing (such in short). In the early 80’s, Gyldendal got their first computer solution and with that alone could reduce the number of employees in that department from almost 500 to under 10!
When I worked at a printing company, we made many simple color prints for companies. It was just before office color printers appeared. Almost all printers agreed that companies would never be able to “print” things in color themselves. At least not as good as them. So their jobs were secured. They were seriously mistaken!
But does that mean that today there are many more unemployed in Denmark?
No – in fact, we continue to break records in the number of employees and unemployment is generally very low. But many people do something completely different than they did in the 80s – or before that. And that is what is happening again at a galloping speed. And this time it also affects the creative subjects.
Your creative job is not as unique as you think!
A few years ago, when robot technology really started to take off, I talked to a lot of people about it. Most agreed that it would cost jobs – but almost all similarly agreed that it would not affect them, because precisely their jobs could never be replaced by machines.
Most of these people were probably quite surprised when, a few years later, they saw their old crafts being replaced by machines, which did it just as well – or better, and in any case much cheaper.
I now experience the same in the creative fields – music, graphics, text writing, etc.
Most people in the creative industry live with the delusion that precisely their jobs, and their abilities, are so unique that machines can never replace them.
I hope YOU are not that naive 🙂
Jobs are changing, but not disappearing
No matter how critical you may be of services such as OpenAI, Google Bard and ChatGPT), I hope you will recognize that these services are not for you to be bothered with.
You can’t un-invent the atomic bomb, no matter how much you want to.
And unlike atomic bombs, I would actually also like to say that AI is generally for the better – rather than the worse.
It can – in the same way as all previous technological developments, help us to do much more, much better, faster and cheaper. And in the end – if you actively go into it, the end is that you can earn more and work less.
All in all, that’s actually how it’s gone – at least in communities, like ours.
When my father was a boy they worked 45 hours a week. Many also on Saturdays. Today, almost 10 hours have been shaved off and, despite everything, we have all, on average, become significantly richer.
But with the new technology, such as now AI, jobs are changing. What we did yesterday we shall no longer do, in exactly the same way tomorrow.
So yes, you can say that some (or many) jobs are disappearing – but at the same time new ones are opening up, as an offshoot of the old ones.
Many have e.g. until now earned good money writing “bread and butter” texts for webshops. It was never the goal that these kinds of texts would be Pulitzer prize winning articles. Just good enough to rank in Google – and sell some goods.
But exactly that kind can e.g. Chat GPT-4 actually does just as well – or better. And much, much faster and cheaper than even the lowest paid copywriter.
The same applies within programming, music, graphic work and much more.
Most creative work can be done by machines (better)
By far the largest part of all the creative tasks that are performed are at a level that makes them more or less replaceable by the new AI technologies.
Naturally, there are steady, and will probably always exist, creative jobs and work, which are handled far better by humans than the AI solutions we can just imagine.
For example, U doubt that we are son to get in-depth, investigative and critical journalism out of the machines. Good journalists are (still) much better at that.
But try opening a newspaper today? How much of the total content is of that type – and how much is much simpler stories, reports, gossip, sports and financial news, which machines can probably handle both better, faster and cheaper?
I also do not think that all DJØFs can be replaced by AI, but there is no doubt that much public case processing could be handled both faster, cheaper and more correctly by AI solutions.
The same applies to texts on your and my websites. Some types of content – such as more in-depth articles like this are probably still best written by humans. But by far the largest part of the content that is published – product texts, category texts, small articles, news and FAQ content, AU services such as ChatGPT can already handle much faster and extremely much cheaper.
As a good example, I have just created a new FAQ section for a customer. Via an integration between Google Sheets and OpenAI, I generated 190 very relevant questions and good answers – both a map and a slightly more in-depth one for each of them, fully formatted in HTML, with good keyword-optimized headings and easy-to-read sections – ready for to import on the site. It only took a few minutes and the quality is actually quite good.
Of course, I cannot show customers’ data, but here is an example to be used on my pottery site at www.demib.com.
Even with a very underpaid copywriter, I doubt I could get the 190 FAQ questions and answers done for the same price as I could do it in minutes 🙂
The same applies to graphic work. There are, of course, outstanding, unique and incredibly advanced and creative graphics that machines may be able to live up to. But let’s face it – most of the graphics that are produced are far more trivial – icons, backgrounds, product images and banner ads.
A good example is the service AdCreative.ai, which can create amazingly good banner ads. They are actually much better than many of the ones I have had made by cheap graphic artists over the years. And both faster and cheaper!
Become an operator, unique or unemployed
There are basically two ways you can maintain a good creative job in the years to come:
- Become an operator – learn to master the new technologies
- Be unique – do creative work that no machine can (yet) do
The last solution is definitely the most difficult strategy. Don’t just assume that you are automatically in this category!
If you are a copywriter, I would definitely recommend that you invest time in getting really good at using the various AI services. After all, there must still be some who write the right prompts, check the quality and possibly edit it a bit. And sometimes there will probably still be a need to supplement with handwritten sections.
If you don’t hurry to get good at it, you will quickly be overtaken by new young copywriters who can!
Machines are not (yet) autonomous all-embracing “business managers”. You can’t just ask them to “do a cool business” and then it will fix everything. There are still some who have to lead the battle.
When I was a child, we had a lot of seamstresses in Denmark – but virtually no fashion industry. But suddenly all those jobs went to cheaper countries. At the same time, a fashion industry grew up here and I believe we actually have more people employed in that industry today than there were seamstresses before. So “clothing industry” jobs has not disappeared – people have just become “operators” rather than “generators”.
I don’t think we will end up with fewer creative jobs. But I am quite sure that many of us will work in completely different ways.
Those of us who keep up with the new tools, learn to utilize the new technologies will continue to have plenty to do.
But those who resist, refuse to jump on the bandwagon, or naively believe that their manual, creative qualities will survive, will probably face a difficult time.