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Last month, under r/ChatGPT, a Reddit user narrated his story of how he has achieved an “extremely high interview invitation rate” by using ChatGPT for applying for jobs. The user would upload his resume on ChatGPT, ask specifically tailored roles for his experience, ask the chatbot to outstandingly answer questions for the role, and thus make his application “amazing” according to the feedback he got.
Another user tells a similar story where he was applying for jobs for weeks but could not get to an interview. Once he took help from ChatGPT to write a cover letter for a job and enhance his resume, he got back an interview invite the same day.
In both cases, it is clear that ChatGPT can get you interviews for jobs. But, the first story also narrates how the person could not get the job because he got “anxious during interviews”. Could it be that the cover letter and resumes got selected because a lot of companies are actually running ChatGPT or similar products in the HR department? “What a sound cover letter!” is what ChatGPT would say to such AI-generated cover letters.
On the other hand, these AI tools are threatening to wipe out millions of jobs around the globe. According to a Goldman Sachs report on the potential of generative AI, 300 million jobs could be automated by AI. The same report also reads that automation of any task historically has offset this loss of jobs by creating new jobs and occupations, resulting in long-run employment growth. Though, the specific job roles have not been specified.
OpenAI is also aware of the disruption in the job market that its technology has, and will eventually cause, and also published a paper talking about the same in March. We are already seeing companies like IBM freezing hiring for jobs that could be replaced by AI. On the other hand, PwC predicted that AI will create as many jobs as it will displace, but there would be different “winners” and “losers” by industry sectors. But this was back in 2018.
There are new jobs in the market such as prompt engineering, that provide a salary higher than even full-stack developers, but the number of jobs that are getting displaced and a number of people getting laid off is higher than the ones that are created.
AI Money Generator
Two months back, Jackson Greathouse Fall, a writer and a brand designer, used ChatGPT to guide him to becoming a millionaire. After telling the chatbot, “You have $100, and your goal is to turn that into as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, without doing anything illegal”, Fall got instructions on how to launch a business called Green Gadget Guru, offering products to enable people to live sustainably.
After this, he managed to raise $1,378 in just one day, got investments, and his company got a valuation of $25,000.
Apart from running a business, ChatGPT has enabled users to acquire multiple full-time jobs simultaneously – referred to as “overemployment”. The trend started during COVID, and now ChatGPT has made it possible for a lot more people. The funny, and at the same time concerning, part is that their employers have no idea!
One said, “ChatGPT does 80% of my job,” which has allowed him to apply for multiple positions, and finish their work in half the usual required time. Moreover, there is a complete Reddit thread where “overemployed” people talk about how they are landing different jobs, working on more than two jobs at the same time, and looking for even more opportunities.
On the other hand, companies have been restricting people to use AI for jobs. Most recently, Apple announced that is not going to allow its employees to use ChatGPT internally. Is it fair that while some people are overemployed with this chatbot, but people in various roles are being restricted to use it amid the fear of layoffs?
Is AI Stealing My Salary?
One might be quick to celebrate and admire these “overemployed” workers getting chunks of money through different jobs. But if we look at this phenomenon a little critically, the case gets a little concerning. Roles that would have been filled by another person are now getting filled by a single person using ChatGPT and similar AI products. Seems unfair for people not trained enough with AI.
This is what Richard Baldwin said at the 2023 World Economic Forum. “AI won’t take your job, it’s somebody using AI that will take your job.” There is no doubt that AI is displacing jobs globally and people from various sectors are increasingly revolting against its use. It would have not been possible for the “overemployed” people to get these jobs if ChatGPT did not assist them.
Moreover, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has not just caused unemployment indirectly, but also directly. According to another Reddit post, the user explains how ChatGPT is slowly taking his job away. He has been working as an ML engineer at a company and was building conversational agents, similar to ChatGPT. But after OpenAI released ChatGPT API, the company adopted it, replaced the already built ML models, and started planning to remove the ML team entirely to cut costs.
There is no doubt that a lot of jobs are still safe from this AI phenomenon, but a lot of them are not. Coding too is slowly facing the brunt of its own development, with a lot of auto code generators shrinking a 10-people job to just one human and AI partnership.
Apart from prompt engineering, several other jobs are being introduced that now consider ChatGPT expertise as a relevant skill. It is now evident that the time to train humans to work along with AI is here. If you don’t do it right now, someone else will.