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News Article

Why is AI a Threat to Traditional Employment?

By Daniel González | Wed, 07/22/2020 - 13:16

Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotization and the digitalization of companies have brought about the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. Today’s industrial processes have little or nothing to do with those that took place between the 1950s and 1995, when the democratization of computing allowed a radical change in factories around the world. However, the digital impact of those factories is now focusing on more ‘human’ jobs. Companies like Open AI, led by Elon Musk and with Microsoft as one of its main partners, are developing technology that could end office work as we know it.

According to El Confidencial, the computer model that can have the most impact on our lives in the short term is the so-called GPT-3, a sort of Alexa or Siri, although with a much greater technological development, since more than 175 billion variables have been introduced for its operation. This has led the software to do work for which it was not designed, such as the translation of legal and scientific texts with little margin for error or the writing of reports based on a single idea. “This software was created to write texts like a human, to talk to people in a natural way through chatbots or to develop ideas in a comprehensible and complex way, taking advantage of all the knowledge acquired. But the truth is that we do not know what GPT-3 is learning right now, what exactly are the reasons for choosing one term or another and we do not even know its limit,” Carlos Santana of Machine Learning Hispano told to El Confidencial.

This type of technology is not only changing industrial production, but is also affecting the development of human teams in some companies. This is the case of companies such as Uniqlo or 7Eleven, which have trusted the management of human teams to software such as that offered by Percolata, a company focused on AI and machine learning. Percolata installs sensors inside stores with the aim of calculating the productivity of each employee through an algorithm. This system is joined by another one developed by IBM, capable of calculating when a salary increase is needed so an employee does not go to the competition, and another called Leading Dimensions Profiling, from OrdDev Institute, which offers its customers a 35 percent improvement in workers’ productivity. How does it achieve this? By comparing the main features of the best workers with those of candidates for a new position. That way, new workers enter their new position competing with the best employees.

As for OpenAI’s new product, it is still too early for companies to acquire it. Like GPT-2, its predecessor, various moral and philosophical conflicts related to intellectual property have accompanied this discovery. In the case of GPT-2, its technology was capable of writing deepfakes. The global context of publishing fake news led Musk to paralyze its distribution.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Confidencial, Wired, Bloomberg, Business Insider
Daniel González Daniel González Senior Writer