The Rise of ChatGPT: Former Professionals Embrace Dog Walking and Air Conditioner Repair

The Rise of ChatGP, Former Professionals

The role of technology has evolved from automating mundane tasks to now challenging high-paid professions through the emergence of artificial intelligence chatbots. The introduction of ChatGPT last November initially went unnoticed by Olivia Lipkin, a copywriter in San Francisco. However, internal Slack groups at her tech start-up began sharing articles on how to utilize the chatbot for work, leading to a decline in Lipkin’s assignments. She eventually lost her job, with managers openly discussing the cost-effectiveness of ChatGPT compared to hiring a human writer. Lipkin’s experience is not unique, as economists predict that AI technologies like ChatGPT could replace a significant number of jobs, resulting in a major workforce reorganization similar to the industrial revolution.

Professions such as marketing and social media content writing are already experiencing the impact, with chatbots capable of generating plausible alternatives to human-produced work. While experts acknowledge that advanced AI lacks the personal voice and style of human writers, often producing incorrect or biased responses, many companies prioritize cost-cutting over quality concerns.

According to Sarah T. Roberts, an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in digital labor, the workforce faces a crisis point as AI targets jobs previously considered immune to automation. The recent advancements in generative AI, employing complex algorithms trained on vast amounts of data, enable the production of human-like text, placing high-earning knowledge workers at risk.

Although the White House and Goldman Sachs have cautioned about potential disruptions caused by AI, it remains uncertain how extensively the workforce will be affected. Certain professions, like copywriting, document translation, transcription, and paralegal work, are particularly vulnerable due to the feasibility of automation. However, areas that require high-level legal analysis, creative writing, or artistic skills still surpass AI capabilities.

Eric Fein, a content writer, suffered the consequences firsthand when his clients transitioned to ChatGPT, resulting in the termination of his contracts. Despite warning his clients about ChatGPT’s limitations, they chose the more cost-effective option. As a result, Fein is now pursuing a career in trades that AI cannot replace, enrolling in courses to become an HVAC technician and planning to train as a plumber.

While some companies have faced setbacks after replacing workers with chatbots, such as errors in AI-generated articles or fictitious legal cases, the rush to integrate ChatGPT into operations continues. However, critics argue that chatbots often produce mediocre content due to their design of predicting statistically likely words in a sentence. This raises concerns about sacrificing quality for cost savings, ultimately benefiting company owners and shareholders.

Lipkin, the displaced copywriter, is reassessing her career path and turning away from office work altogether. Initially pursuing content marketing to support her creative writing aspirations, she found the job draining and detrimental to her personal writing pursuits. Now, she is starting a job as a dog walker, disillusioned by the preference for the cheapest solution over human workers.

As AI advancements continue to disrupt various industries, professionals like Lipkin and Fein highlight the need to consider the long-term implications of relying solely on AI for job functions, questioning the diminishing standards of quality in pursuit of cost savings.