Is artificial intelligence going to automate all our jobs away—or help us do better work than ever?
Well, it depends who you talk to…
What it is
Erik Brynjolfsson is a Stanford researcher and influential author on AI’s impact on labor markets and economies.
In a recent paper, he argues that we must develop AI that augments human jobs rather than automating them away. In fact, he posits that current income inequality and wage stagnation are results of a short-sighted focus on automation over augmentation.
However, he argues that machine augmentation isn’t only the better path, it’s the more profitable one, creating more value in the long-term.
Why it matters
In Episode 21 of the Marketing AI Show, Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer and myself talked about Brynjolfsson’s paper and what it means for you.
- AI is more often a colleague than a replacement. There’s no doubt AI has automated away some jobs in certain markets, like Brynjolfsson states. But many marketers are better served looking at how AI can augment the work they do today. “It’s not about automating humans out of jobs, it’s about finding intelligent ways to assist them in their jobs.”
- The big picture matters, but so does just getting started in small ways. Papers like Brynjolfsson’s are critical to understand the big picture around AI. But experiencing it for yourself is a major doorway into the world of AI. “The more people who experience it, the more they’re going to start realizing how real the technology is and how it’s going to start impacting their business and career,” says Roetzer.
- And getting started with AI doesn’t have to be daunting. You don’t have to fundamentally rethink your job or place in the labor force to get started with AI. There are interesting and fun ways to experiment with the technology. Case in point: One generative AI tool called Jasper published a story about a mom using image generation AI to help her son create his very own AI-powered children’s book—now available on Amazon!
What to do about it
- Read this excellent summary of Brynjolfsson’s paper that looks at the issue of automation vs. augmentation from multiple perspectives.
- Test out AI for yourself with easy-to-navigate tools like Google’s AI Test Kitchen and DALL-E 2.
- Sign up for our next Intro to AI for Marketers free online live class to learn about AI in an approachable and accessible way in just 30 minutes.
PS — You can hear the whole conversation about this topic and more cutting-edge AI news in Episode 21 of the Marketing AI Show, out now.
As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). See Mike's full bio.