The rise of AI technology has changed the landscape of the workplace.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way industries operate, enabling machines to carry out tasks that were once the sole domain of human decision-making. With its ability to automate mundane and repetitive work, AI has quickly become an indispensable tool in various industries, including healthcare, finance, manufacturing and transportation.
A recent study by Macami AI, a consulting firm specializing in robotic process automation (RPA) and AI, revealed that 72% of American employees are willing to delegate certain back-office tasks to AI, such as invoice management, auditing and simple reporting. This shift towards automation allows employees to focus on more growth-oriented tasks, such as managing teams, leading projects or pursuing a promotion.
It’s no surprise, then, that AI has now entered the intern pool. Meet Aiko and Aiden, two AI interns “hired” by Codeword, a marketing agency based in the United States, for a three-month period. In this article, we will take a closer look at the two AI interns at Codeword and the implications of AI solutions to the future of work.
Meet Codeword’s AI interns—Aiko and Aiden
Built by Codeword using a range of advanced technologies, including ChatGPT, Midjourney and DALL-E 2, AI programs Aiko and Aiden are two new members of the agency’s team of 106 individuals. You can find them on the Codeword’s employee directory—an effort by the agency to demonstrate that they are “full members of the Codeword team”. Each of them has a designated reporting manager and receives monthly feedback based on their performance, just like any human intern.
Aiden has been brought on board to work with the editorial team and will report to the Senior Editor. It will focus on content creation by generating drafts, writing blog posts and brainstorming ideas for Codeword’s blog, Cover Story, on Medium. Meanwhile, Aiko will work alongside the design team and report to the Senior Art Director. It will be responsible for tasks like drafting concepts, designing and photo editing.
However, unlike traditional interns, Aiden and Aiko will not receive salaries or benefits. Instead, Codeword will donate their salaries to the Grace Hopper Celebration, an annual event that brings together women in the tech industry worldwide to discuss their research, ideas and career goals.
The AI interns have been strategically placed within specific teams at Codeword to enhance specific areas of the business and provide a unique value proposition to clients. However, they will not be serving clients directly yet, as Aiden and Aiko are still being evaluated for their reliability and capabilities.
AI news anchors and chatbot lawyer: Are AI solutions the future of workforce?
While Codeword’s AI interns Aiden and Aiko are not designed to replace human workers but to work alongside them and enhance the team’s capabilities, other companies have already introduced AI technology that has taken over human roles.
The world’s first AI news anchor developed by Xinhua News Agency (Image courtesy of China Xinhua News)
One such example is China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, which introduced the world’s first AI news anchors in collaboration with search engine operator Sogou in 2018. These AI news anchors, modeled after Xinhua’s human news presenters Zhang Zhao and Qiu Hao, are capable of reading news scripts in both English and Chinese and can operate continuously without any breaks. They can also acquire knowledge from videos in real time. As per Xinhua News, the AI news anchor will reduce news production costs and improve efficiency.
In March this year, another Chinese news outlet People Daily rolled out “Ren Xiaorong”, a female AI newscaster touted as capable of discussing any topic. Nevertheless, reports later revealed that the AI could only offer pre-programmed responses to queries about China’s “Two Sessions” political conference.
In addition to AI news anchors, another example is the creation of an AI lawyer by the startup DoNotPay. The startup designed the DoNotPay AI chatbot as a tool to provide legal services to individuals for handling minor legal issues, such as late fees, fines and traffic tickets. Operating on a smartphone, it can listen to court arguments and advise defendants on what to say through an earpiece.
The way forward
As AI technology continues to advance, it has become increasingly clear that it has the potential to revolutionize the workforce. However, this does not necessarily indicate the beginning of a fully automated workforce.
First off, the cost and infrastructure requirements of integrating AI may not be feasible for small businesses. Moreover, while it is true that AI is capable of performing certain tasks more efficiently and accurately than humans, it cannot replace human creativity, empathy and critical thinking skills that are vital to many roles.
Going back to the AI news anchors, some critics have pointed out that they simply lack facial expressions and lip movements. While efficiency is crucial in maximizing outputs and profits, the lack of human touch of these AI services could be a big turnoff for many individuals.
Additionally, there are ethical concerns surrounding the use of AI in the workforce, including issues such as bias and discrimination. The technology’s dependence on existing data and algorithms can replicate and perpetuate bias and discrimination, which can have serious consequences for marginalized groups.
As we move towards an increasingly automated future, one thing is clear: AI technology is not a threat to human workers, but rather a tool to enhance their capabilities. Instead, the future of work will likely involve collaboration between human workers and AI technology to optimize efficiency and productivity. Businesses and organizations must approach this transition thoughtfully and responsibly, weighing the unique strengths of humans and AI, as well as the ethical implications of their integration.
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