Reading time 4 minutes

Let’s dive into a topic that’s been on my mind lately: AI and its impact on the job market. Now, when we discuss the future, we often fall into the trap of thinking it will either change everything or change nothing. But the truth is, it lies somewhere in the middle.

One common mistake we make is assuming that everyone will adopt new technology simultaneously and be equally adept at using it. As William Gibson famously said, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” So, to accurately predict the future, we need to find a middle ground. It won’t be a complete revolution, but it won’t be business as usual either.

The distribution of new technology is a gradual process that takes time. Take the introduction of cell phones in the late 90s, for example. It wasn’t until a decade or so later that the iPhone revolutionized the way we communicate. Similarly, the impact of AI on jobs will unfold over a span of 10 to 20 years.

Let’s look at Uber as a case study. When it emerged in the 2000s, it was hailed as a game-changer, transforming transportation for many. However, it didn’t completely eliminate taxi cabs and limo services. Instead, it shifted the mix, altering the way people choose their rides. Depending on your location and tech-savviness, you might still opt for a traditional taxi.

This gradual shift, with varying percentages, is often overlooked. When we consider the future of AI jobs, we can expect a core group of individuals to have AI-centric roles, using it as an integral part of their daily work. Others will consume the products of their AI-powered labor. But this group will remain relatively small, gradually expanding over time.

However, the rise of AI won’t signify the end of jobs that existed before its advent. In my field of SEO, for instance, we might witness a plethora of AI-written or AI-assisted articles. But within this spectrum, we’ll have everything from completely AI-generated articles to human-reviewed ones, articles written by humans with AI assistance, and even those without any AI involvement. The proportions may change, but the coexistence of different approaches will persist.

Even when AI-dominated approaches become more prevalent, it won’t be a binary scenario. We can expect adoption rates of 70%, 80%, or perhaps even 90%, similar to previous technological shifts, with varying levels of skill required.

Now, let me share a personal anecdote. I run an SEO company called Page Genie, and in the past, we had teams of content writers producing SEO content. But we’ve evolved. Now, we have a team that writes with the aid of AI, using it to generate articles. They have become experts in creating prompts for AI and reviewing and editing the AI-generated text.

This “human in the loop” approach will likely persist for a long time, as our target audience, e-commerce store owners, prefer articles reviewed by humans before being associated with their brand. This human presence ensures quality and trust. So, while the nature of the work has shifted from writing-focused to prompting and editing-focused, humans will remain an essential part of the process.

To sum it up, the future of AI and jobs is an evolutionary shift rather than a sudden upheaval. Non-AI jobs will not vanish overnight, but they will transform. Embracing AI will require adaptation and a blend of human and machine collaboration. We’ll better be able to plan for this future if we imagine a middle way, rather than some sudden, complete shift. Looking backward at the adoption of other technologies like the internet, spreadsheets, and personal computers will give us this perspective.

What are your thoughts on the matter? How do you envision the future of jobs in an AI-driven world? Let’s discuss!