Delving into the Pros and Cons of Frontier AI, part 2

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Part 2 in a series of 5

In this five-part series, Firehead takes a look Frontier AI and the impact it is having on technical communicators’ roles and the future labour market for digital communication

Is Automation Anxiety Rational?

I so hear often from digital and technical communicators about how they’re closely watching developments in the technology sector, fearful that generative AI will replace them completely or render them dispensable.

More than a third of professionals worry about losing their jobs because of AI-led automation, with over 50% prioritising job security when negotiating new roles. It’s labelled: ‘automation anxiety.’ Commentators have said that this is ‘paralysing innovation’ (read more here)

And what about the advent of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)?! Several organisations at the forefront of Frontier AI development suggest AGI could soon be realised in their laboratories. Others with less to gain or more to lose argue this is not an inevitability, so estimates of its arrival range from 2025 to 2070, or never! Accompanying predictions of the outcome range from the potential of creating a global Nirvana and doubling human lifespans to mass unemployment or total planetary extinction (following Elon Musk’s line!).

AGI has been defined as an autonomous system that surpasses human capabilities in the majority of economically valuable tasks.

Microsoft has announced a £2.5 billion investment in the UK alone over the next three years to help drive the expansion of AI with a pledge to train more than one million people for the AI economy. Microsoft will simultaneously research and develop AI protection and security, driven in no small part by the inaugural Safety Summit at Bletchley Park and its major investment in Open AI and ChatGPT.

We previously reported on McKinsey’s estimate that improvement in productivity through generative AI could lead to gains of between $2.6 and $4.4 trillion in the global economy. A KPMG press release suggests generative AI could add £31 billion to the UK economy alone.

The gains and resulting expansions can only be realised with the right human tech talent on hand, and surveys already indicate that 81% of tech teams are set to expand because of, not in spite of, the arrival of AI. So ‘blanket’ automation anxiety seems irrational, but only on the basis that workers in the technology sectors fail to adapt, upskill, or find employers who will retrain them for AI-focused roles. It follows that there will be huge employment demands in cybersecurity and compliance associated with the implementation of Frontier AI.

The Firehead Training Academy has already launched a course titled: ‘Traceability, Responsibility and Ethics in the AI Era: Skills for 21st Century Content Developers‘. We will soon be rolling out a cybersecurity workshop as part of our upskilling programmes so that technical communicators are up to speed and ready to take advantage of these ‘oversight’ career opportunities.

At Firehead, we’re incredibly optimistic about the future of digital and technical communicators and offers individuals and corporates the opportunity to upskill NOW to take advantage of these quantum shifts in the digital revolutions.

Contacts us today to discuss your training requirements.

Sign up to the Firehead Training Academy to stay informed here.

CJ Walker

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