Wednesday, May 15, 2024

AI? If you're a Brain Worker, Don't Worry!

 I talked with Chat GPT4o


Can you estimate the quantitative impact of AI on the US GDP over the next decade?

Chat GPT4o:

Predicting the exact quantitative impact of AI on the US GDP over the next decade is highly speculative due to the complex interplay of various factors such as technological advancements, adoption rates, regulatory policies, and economic conditions. However, several studies and forecasts have attempted to estimate the potential impact of AI on economic growth.

For instance, blah, blah, blah...

Or to summarize more summarily:

 AI has the potential to significantly impact US GDP over the next decade, period.


But ChatGPT4o can chat, and that is scarey, for what many of us do for a living is little more than chat.

For example, how long before your call to the doctor's office when little Jimmy has a rash on his chest or Grandpa is complaining of a buzzing in the ears to find yourself speaking with ChatGPT5o, 6o or whatever.

Doctor's telephone receptionist:

Hellow, this is Doctor Seus's office. How can I help you.


My son, Jimmy, has come out with a rash on his chest and has a temperature of 101. What should I do?

Doctor's telephone receptionist:

I'm not the doctor, but it sounds like Jimmy might be experiencing symptoms of an illness or allergic reaction. Here's what you can do:

  1. Monitor his symptoms: Keep an eye on Jimmy's temperature and the rash. If his temperature rises further or if the rash spreads or worsens, call back to speak with the doctor.

  2. Give him fluids: Make sure Jimmy stays hydrated by offering him plenty of fluids like water or electrolyte solutions.

  3. Keep him comfortable: Dress him in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature comfortable. You can also give him acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce his fever and ease any discomfort, but make sure to follow the dosage instructions appropriate for his age.

If Jimmy's symptoms worsen or if you're unsure about what to do, it's always best to err on the side of caution and call back promptly.

Actually, those are slightly abbreviated comments from Chat GPT4o, which have radical implications.

First, your doctor can eliminate the expense of employing a telephone receptionist. He needs merely to subscribe to an AI phone answering service, at a cost that will be a small fraction of what it cost to employ that pleasant young woman who used to answer the phone.

But, second, your healthcare provider can dispense with your doctor since the doctor's AI receptionist can tell you as much, and indeed much more, than the doctor knows relating to your particular condition.

The same trashing of jobs will occur across vast swaths of the economy.

Restaurant waiters? Forget it.

At a restaurant, approach a vacant table and, from a microphone concealed in a vase of plastic flowers, a synthetic voice will inform you whether the table is vacant or if it is reserved for patrons presently enjoying a cocktail in the bar. In the latter case, it will direct you to Table 23 or 17 or any other table that happens to be vacant. Unless, that is, it does not like the look of you. In that case it will simply express in tones of more or less sincere regret that there will be no table for lunch available today.

However, if you have the appearance of a desirable patron, it will be happy to seat you wherever you wish before announcing:

Today we have lentil and oyster soup garnished with chives, etc.

Likewise, AI will displace countless millions of store clerks, civil servants, and others who now earn a living by exchanging information by word of mouth.

What that means is that AI, widely implemented, has the potential to create unemployment worse than that of the Great Depression of the 1930's. Governments will attempt to combat the worst of this effect, which they can do in many ways. For example, allowing public servants to work from home, which will reduce bureaucratic productivity (is that even possible) and hence justify massive expansion in the number of people employed (sort of) in the public sector, matched by a massive increase in taxation to pay public sector wages.

Meantime, the private sector will shed workers at a great pace, driving profits sharply higher in those industries best able to replace people with AI.

But one thing is clear. AI, at it's current stage of development, cannot, except in the most rudimentary way, think. So, if you are a brain worker, your job may be secure for a few years, anyhow. But if ChatGPT eight "o" or nine "o" starts to give specific answers to questions such as how will AI affect US GDP over the next decade, then it will be time to think about early retirement.

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