From steam power and electricity to computers and the internet, technological advancements have always disrupted labour markets, pushing out some jobs while creating others. Artificial intelligence remains something of a misnomer – the smartest computer systems still don’t actually know anything – but the technology has reached an inflection point where it’s poised to affect new classes of jobs: artists and knowledge workers.
Specifically, the emergence of large language models – artificial intelligence systems that are trained on vast amounts of text – means computers can now produce human-sounding written language and convert descriptive phrases into realistic images. The Conversation asked five artificial intelligence researchers to discuss how large language models are likely to affect artists and knowledge workers. And, as our experts noted, the technology is far from perfect, which raises a host of issues – from misinformation to plagiarism – that affect human workers.
Creativity for all – but loss of skills?
Lynne Parker, associate vice chancellor, University of Tennessee
Large language models are making creativity and knowledge work accessible to all. Everyone with an internet connection can now use tools like ChatGPT or DALL-E 2 to express themselves and make sense of huge stores of information by, for example, producing text summaries.
Especially notable is the depth of humanlike expertise large language models display….