LA Times: Assuaging the Fear of an AI Takeover (ft. Daniel Greene)

INFO Staff - March 31, 2023

INFO Assistant Professor Daniel Greene critiques the research on the potential impact of AI on human workers.

Drawing of a laptop with a robot coming out of the screen

The growing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to concerns about its impact on society, particularly when it comes to replacing human workers. However, some startups that specialize in AI are attempting to address these fears by marketing the technology as a collaborator rather than a replacement.

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, several AI startups are trying to ease public worries about the technology by emphasizing its ability to work alongside humans rather than take their jobs. This approach is being taken even as AI has already begun to automate jobs in sectors such as healthcare, finance, and transportation.

OpenAI, formerly a nonprofit research organization, released a working paper last week that concluded that “most occupations” now have “some degree of exposure” to large language models (LLMs) like the one underlying ChatGPT. The study, which was conducted by OpenAI, found that higher-wage occupations have more tasks with high exposure, and that approximately 19% of jobs will see at least half of all the tasks exposed to LLMs. Critics, like Dan Greene, an assistant professor at the College of Information Studies (INFO), argued that the study was less a scientific assessment than a self-fulfilling prophecy. He noted that “you use the new tool to tell its own fortune,” and that the goal of the study was to “mark down a boundary for public debate.”

Despite these concerns, the use of AI in various industries continues to grow, and startups are hoping to make the technology more accessible and user-friendly to the public.

Read the full article here. Written by Brian Merchant and published on March 31, 2023 by the Los Angeles Times.