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Embracing the AI Wave: Navigating the Future of Work and Innovation

Changes that might occur because of LLMs: How programmers should surf the AI wave and plan their careers.

Recently, I attended a closed-door session for an “Annual Technology Speech”. We discussed topics such as “Changes that might occur under the wave of large language models,” “How programmers should ride the wave and surf the new AI trend,” and “Being replaced or dominating, how programmers should plan their careers.” I want to share my thoughts based on these discussions, but not limited to programmers.

Will AI Leed to Lose Our Jobs?

The advent of AI seems to have sparked some anxious voices, especially around the question, “Will AI cause us to lose our jobs?” I think this question needs to be viewed dialectically. Let me give an example:

When cars appeared in the “horse carriage era,” did the coachmen lose their jobs? If you insist on being a horse carriage driver, then you’ll most likely be unemployed. However, the advent of cars also brought about many new job opportunities, such as car manufacturing, car repair, car sales, car insurance, etc. For the coachmen, they could choose to learn to drive cars, becoming car drivers. They could obtain a better working environment and likely a higher income.

Similarly, with the advent of AI, I think we should learn from those coachmen who turned to driving cars. We should learn, understand, and use AI, making it a powerful tool for us, rather than fearing AI will cause us to lose our jobs.

For example, clerks can use Microsoft’s Copilot to help generate automated operation commands to complete some manual copying, calculations, integrating text and data — the “physical” work. For content creators, AI can be used to automatically optimize audio and video quality and assist in editing. For programmers, AI can assist in coding, writing comments, etc. The same applies to other industries and professions, where AI can be utilized in your respective fields.

The above description of using AI to assist our current work is the most basic, simple, and intuitive. Of course, there are deeper levels, taking the software industry as an example:

We can integrate AI into existing software. For example, Microsoft has integrated GitHub Copilot into VSCode, and integrated Copilot into Windows and Office, etc. This is tangible and visible, using AI to optimize existing product features and enhance user experience.

Of course, as technology develops, new scenarios and needs will emerge. For instance, the newly emerging large language model framework Langchain, AI assistant ChatGPT, and many other new scenarios and needs that are yet to appear and await our exploration. This actually poses new requirements for us, which leads to the following topic.

How Ordinary People Should Respond to AI

In the “horse carriage era,” when cars appeared, coachmen could learn to drive to advance their careers. Similarly, in the AI era, we also need to continuously learn about AI to keep up with the times. I think ordinary people can do the following three things:

  1. Understand and Learn: Grasp some basic concepts of AI, such as what “Artificial Intelligence,” “Machine Learning,” “Deep Learning” are, and their relationships, etc. You don’t need to understand the specific algorithms or model implementation details, but you should understand some simple, basic concepts, which will help you in understanding and using AI;
  2. Use and Expand: Make more use of AI tools like ChatGPT, for example, you can use ChatGPT when learning the above AI concepts. And you can try to expand the use of AI in your field, like if you’re a programmer, you might integrate AI into your existing projects to optimize user experience, etc.;
  3. Share More: In the early days of the AI era, most people actually haven’t used AI much. If you can learn and apply AI, you can share your process and insights gained from learning and using AI, and perhaps do some content creation on the side. Sharing helps deepen your understanding of the knowledge, helps you build personal influence, and even through content creation, you can earn tangible income. Although the content creation bonus seems to be running out, I think AI content creation still has a bright future.

These are some of my thoughts, and I hope they are helpful to you. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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