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Hey ChatGPT, What is AI Anxiety?

As the world rapidly embraces AI technologies, the phenomenon of 'AI Anxiety' is spreading, with 78% of Americans concerned about potential malicious uses and job replacement. This article delves into various professions that could see significant transformation due to AI, including doctors, marketers, and teachers, while offering coping strategies and a reminder that technological advancement has historically led to adaptation rather than disaster.
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
August 20, 2023 9:41 pm

In a world rapidly embracing AI, there's no denying that chatbots like ChatGPT seem to be taking over the world (slight dramatization).

For many people, this brings up feelings of uncertainty and fear when they envision AI potentially taking over their jobs one day. But what’s the deal with 'robots stealing jobs', what does it mean for individuals and most importantly – how do we navigate our way through it? 

Recently, this state of unease has started to be referred to as 'AI Anxiety'. Around 78% of Americans share that feeling and are concerned that “AI can be used for malicious intent.” And according to a study by Goldman Sachs, AI could potentially replace approximately 300 million full-time jobs. On top of that, nearly a third of respondents in PwC’s annual global workforce survey expressed concerns about technology replacing their roles within three years.

What fuels this anxiety is perhaps not only AIs rapid growth, but its startling ability to mimic 'human-like' expressions. These engines, for example language models like GPT-4, utilize large amounts of linguistic data to reproduce complex patterns of syntax and word usage. Every time we use these systems, they get better and better. They're learning languages and even showing off artistic skills, once only mastered by humans.

As AI tools start to imitate human abilities in art and communication, it makes people worried. Even tech experts are starting to voice concerns about issues like spreading wrong information quickly or increasing the risk of copying others' work in schools - leading to potential changes in teaching materials and more face-to-face or oral exams.

So there might be some level of justification for AI anxiety at this stage, since there are indeed many jobs that will be touched by AI. As the wave of generative algorithms sweeps across every industry, many are scrambling to understand how it will affect their jobs and what skills they'll need to stay competitive. According to experts, almost every job requiring creativity or information processing will inevitably be influenced by this technological evolution.

Besides the more obvious ones like customer service agents or graphic designers, here are some other professions likely to see significant transformation:

  • Marketers: Say hello to automated content creation for campaigns, ranging from blogs posts and emails to social media messages tailored for different customer segments.
  • Doctors: Generative AI makes it possible for healthcare professionals to generate medical reports based on patient data quicker than ever before while potentially suggesting diagnoses and treatment options too.
  • Journalists: The power of AI extends in newsrooms where journalists can leverage generative AI for better research output, creating effective outlines and comprehensive coverage of developments within their field.
  • Computer Programmers: Imagine an assistant who not only helps you write code but also debugs errors? Generative language-based AI is equipped with such capabilities along with being a fantastic tutor helping programmers in honing their coding skills!
  • Translators: With chatbots offering quick translations across multiple languages; translating has never been easier!
  • Teachers: Lesson planning could become easier with automation in education. It would help create customized teaching materials based on different student needs and keep teachers updated on new teaching methods.
  • Lawyers: Generative AIs can help reduce the time spent sorting through documents, allowing more time to focus on client's needs. They can delve into case histories to highlight important decision points, as well as generate legal contracts, saving valuable time.
  • Project Managers:  AI could become Project Managers’ new best friend, as it accurately understands deadlines. It helps with everything, from setting project timelines to allocating resources and tracking performance during project delivery, redefining the concept of optimization.

But before you let these numbers consume you with dread, remember this isn't the first time industries have faced disruptions due to new technological advancements like manufacturing automation - we’ve always found ways to adapt and thrive. It is crucial then for us humans in this era of rapid AI progression to understand how we can work along with these emerging technologies rather than viewing them as threats.

Navigating through the tide of 'AI Anxiety' requires understanding and proactiveness. While it's reasonable to be apprehensive about something that feels new and scary, keep in mind that we're at the beginning of yet another era filled with remarkable possibilities.

To make this transition smoother and lessen your discomfort with AI, the inevitable future, we recommend a few simple coping strategies:

Remind yourself what AI you already use: 

The anxiety you feel towards AI likely stems from its unfamiliarity; making it crucial for us to realize that AI has already woven itself into our daily lives quietly, but significantly. From assisting us via Siri or Alexa’s smart responses, Google Maps guiding us across cities, to Netflix providing personalized show recommendations based on our viewing habits - these are all instances of subtle integration of AI where we’ve already been operating alongside.

Embrace the use of Artificial Intelligence:

The way forward could be using tools like ChatGPT to simplify life and fulfill their intended purpose! Perhaps drafting those lengthy emails suddenly becomes hassle-free? Or meal planning no longer seems daunting? Don't forget, even though technology is evolving rapidly, the main goal is still to improve our lives. So these big changes are designed with that purpose in mind!

Take a break:

It's normal to feel stressed when everything is changing so quickly. Taking a break from screens can be a helpful step forward. Go outside, breathe fresh air, and spend time with the people you love - it will help clear your mind. Enjoy offline moments because real-life interactions are irreplaceable. A break from tech could also refresh you and bring back your focus to adapt to the ongoing developments in balance rather than feeling swamped by them. Remember, pacing yourself along this journey of understanding complex changes at your own speed is healthier than trying to grasp it all at once.

The emergence of AI tools like ChatGPT has certainly sparked fear and uncertainty among many. The rapid rate at which these innovations are becoming more nuanced and human-like can be alarming. However, it's essential to remember that every wave of technological advancement throughout history initially brought about similar concerns before we adapted and grew alongside them.

Should you start feeling overwhelmed by this digital whirlwind, just remember - it's completely natural. Adopting coping strategies can ease your transition into this AI-powered future!

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Written by Marei Schiffmann
Marei, a linguistics enthusiast, recently joined the Gold Penguin team as a writer. During her studies on multilingual communication, she discovered her true calling in the world of writing. She developed a keen fascination for AI and technological advancements. As a result, her writing primarily focuses on delivering the latest news in the realm of artificial intelligence.
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