Empowering the Freelance Economy

MIT: AI won’t replace jobs just yet but still a threat

Study reveals impact, highlights areas for human value & shares AI adaptation tips. Photo source: Pavel Danilyuk via Pexels
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We look into an MIT study to find out just how quickly some freelance jobs could be replaced by AI and where AI is not cost-effective. Plus tips for freelancers who want to stay ahead of the AI curve

A recent study by MIT researchers suggests that the pace of AI job displacement will be slower than previously expected. This is good news for freelancers, who are often at the forefront of new technologies and can adapt to changing market demands. However, the study also warns that AI will still have a significant impact on the workforce, and freelancers need to be prepared for the challenges ahead.

The study, titled “Beyond AI Exposure: Which Tasks Are Cost-Effective to Automate with Computer Vision?”, takes a more nuanced approach to AI job displacement than previous studies. The researchers focused on computer vision, a type of AI that can analyse images and videos, and found that only a small percentage of tasks currently performed by humans could be cost-effectively automated with computer vision.

Instead of simply looking at which tasks can be automated with AI, the researchers also consider the economic feasibility of automating those tasks. They find that many tasks that are technically feasible to automate are not economically viable to do so, at least in the near future.

This is because developing and deploying AI systems can be expensive. The researchers found that for many tasks, the cost of the AI system would outweigh the cost of human labour. This means that businesses are more likely to stick with human workers for the time being.

However, the study also found that AI is likely to have a significant impact on some tasks, particularly those that are routine and repetitive. These tasks are more likely to be automated because the cost of AI systems is falling rapidly, and the cost of human labour is rising.

This means that freelancers specialising in these types of tasks must find new ways to compete with AI. They may need to develop new skills or become specialists in more complex tasks less susceptible to automation.

The study’s findings are encouraging for freelancers, but they also serve as a warning. AI is here to stay, and it will eventually have a major impact on the workforce. Freelancers need to be prepared for this change by developing new skills and staying ahead of the curve.

How freelancers can stay ahead of the AI curve

  • Focus on your unique skills and talents. What makes you different from other freelancers? What can you do that AI cannot?
  • Go niche. The more specialised you are, the less likely you are to be replaced by AI.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest trends. The world of AI is constantly changing, so it is important to stay informed about the latest developments, especially if new apps can boost your productivity.
  • Be willing to learn new skills. As AI continues to evolve, you will need to be willing to learn new skills to stay competitive.

Key takeaways for freelancers:

  • The pace of AI job displacement will be slower than previously expected, but AI will still have a significant impact on the workforce.
  • Freelancers specialising in routine and repetitive tasks are most at risk of being replaced by AI.
  • Freelancers can stay ahead of the curve by developing new skills, specialising in a niche market, staying up-to-date on the latest trends, and being willing to learn new skills.
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