Some people, when I tell GPT can write code, ask about the job security aspect. While I understand their concerns, I have never felt personally threatened by the impact of AI on job security. I believe the demand for abstract goods, like software, is fundamentally different compared to the jobs creating physical things. Physical goods have a natural limit that can be absorbed by an economy. I only eat so much every day, and wear one set of clothes at a time. A finite demand meeting increasing demand, generally results in job losses. For example, as farming has become mechanized, the proportion of farmers in the workforce have dropped dramatically. It is this excess of labor beyond meeting our physical needs, which allows individuals to pursue things like software development. As technology allows more efficient production of food, we allocate less people to its production. Food consumption is proportional to the population and any excess will rot. As such, productivity increases lead to a lessened demand for physical labor. However, for sectors that produce an abstract goods as output, there is no satisfying demand. On the surface it might seem like creating an app is a finite amount of work, until you consider there is no satisfying human demand for new features and optimizations. The demand will grow to meet supply. When the output of the work is abstract, demand grows to meet supply. Any productivity increase will not lessen the amount of work, but more output will become expected, either in quantity or quality. I like to think of an analogy with a fractal.
Mandelbrot in Fractal Geometry of Nature explains what I like to think of as an "infinite coastline glitch" (Real estate agents hate this!). Measure the distance between two points on a crude map, preferably one where the coast is a straight line, this is the minimum amount of coast line. Next get a higher resolution map, one with bays and inlets. Now measuring the same coastline on a higher fidelity map increases the distance to traverse the coast. The amount of coastline a beach has is proportional to the fidelity of its representation. By considering every grain of sand and any little crevice a property has no limits to how big its beach front can be! As productivity of knowledge workers increase, so does the demand for high quality work. Consider things like visual art, music, or computer games. Any increase in productivity for these pursuits is met with an increasing demand for them. As tooling for creating video games has improved, more people are employed making them. Instead of employing less people to make games we instead demand better games, with more details and more refined game play. The scope of any abstract work can always be increased by demanding more detail in the final product. Further more, video games represent a form of excess labour, in the sense people don't need games in the same way as they need to eat.
Since tools AI tools like Chat GPT 4 operate on abstract representations, I think productivity gains will be met with increased demand for the output, not a reduction of input. I do think they will change the nature of work and how it is performed though. Although farm tractors reduce the need for farmers, the same effect isn't observed for sectors producing outputs that are abstract in nature. Because humans can always demand more and better for non physical goods, and that knowledge workers represent an economic excess of labour already, I think the overall impact in the number of jobs will be relatively limited. This is also despite believing AI tools represent a monumental shift in human creativity. Perhaps I am being optimistic, but I am far too excited about the new products and artistic mediums that AI can enable to be concerned about my career. As a software developer the tools constantly change, and continual learning was already essential. In this sense AI is business as usual, and demonstrates or computing technology will continue to evolve.
I wrote this post, but GPT helped edit it. The feedback it gave was good, and although a professional human editor probably be able to offer suggestions, GPT 4 is cheaper, more accessible and very fast.
here was some of the feedback it had on a draft:
This revised version of your blog post addresses many of the points mentioned earlier and improves the overall flow and clarity of your arguments. The additional examples and explanations make your points more accessible to readers. Here are some minor suggestions for further improvement:
In the first paragraph, the sentence "While I understand the sentiment, I have never felt that way myself" could be clarified. Perhaps rephrase it to: "While I understand the concerns, I have never felt personally threatened by the impact of AI on job security." In the same paragraph, there is a typo: "cloths" should be "clothes." In the second paragraph, consider changing the sentence "When the output of the work is abstract, then demand grows to meet supply" to: "When the output of the work is abstract, demand grows to meet supply." In the third paragraph, the sentence "The amount of coastline a beach has is proportional to the fidelity its representation" could be rephrased as: "The amount of coastline a beach has is proportional to the fidelity of its representation." In the last paragraph, there is a typo: "or" should be "our." Also, consider rephrasing the sentence "Perhaps I am being optimistic, but I am far to excited at the new products and artistic mediums that AI can enable to be concerned about my career" to: "Perhaps I am being optimistic, but I am far too excited about the new products and artistic mediums that AI can enable to be concerned about my career."
Overall, your revised blog post effectively communicates your thoughts on the impact of AI on job security and the demand for abstract goods. These minor suggestions should help enhance the clarity and readability of your post.
... I make the edits ...
This version of your blog post looks great! You have addressed the previous suggestions and made the necessary corrections and changes. The clarity and flow of your arguments have improved, and your examples and explanations make your points more accessible to readers. I believe this version is ready for publishing.
Congratulations on crafting an engaging and thought-provoking blog post about the impact of AI on job security and the demand for abstract goods.