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Use AI or Be Left Behind: AI May Replace You but People Who Use AI Effectively Definitely Will



In an age where artificial intelligence is busily elbowing its way into the workplace, quietly (or not so quietly) nudging certain job roles into the shadows of obsolescence, one might feel relatively secure nestled in a role that AI hasn’t quite mastered yet. But hold onto your hats—or better yet, your office chairs—because the plot thickens. You see, generative AI isn’t just about replacing the replaceable; it’s setting an undeniable new standard of productivity and capability. Soon, just being irreplaceable won’t cut it. To keep your spot at the desk, you’ll need to rise to these shiny new expectations, no matter the sector you're scribbling away in, or risk being replaced by someone who scribbles faster with AI.


AI is Inevitable in Software Engineering


Let’s use the software engineering sector as an anecdote. During the height of the generative AI craze, Goldman released the widely cited report called “The Potentially Large Effects of Artificial Intelligence on Economic Growth” which detailed the potential impact that generative AI could have in replacing humans across various sectors. It's a report that sounds as serious as a heart attack and for good reason. It points out that a cool 29% of jobs in the Computer and Maintenance category might soon be on the chopping block thanks to AI automation.


Now, it’s tempting for the proud software engineers, the very architects of these AI systems, to assume they’re safe from the grips of automation. But here’s a twist: the report’s silent on the fate of the remaining 71% in the Computer and Math category. What it doesn’t spell out is that these jobs could also be snatched away by anyone who's better at wielding AI tools.


Global research and advisory giant, Gartner has conducted a global survey and found that 75% of enterprise software engineers will use AI code assistants by 2028 and that 63% of organizations are currently piloting or deploying AI code assistants as well. Would the 25% who are not using AI code assistants by 2028 be replaced? Likely, unless they are management-level software engineers who are leaning towards supervision rather than coding.


Studies from GitHub, with its AI CoPilot tool, toss in more numbers to chew on: developers using this AI buddy are 55% faster, 88% more productive, and an eye-popping 96% quicker at repetitive tasks. It doesn’t take a leap of imagination to see that soon, not being up to snuff with AI code assistants might be akin to professional suicide.

In fact, we can draw some parallels to the aforementioned platform that’s become as essential to coders as caffeine, called GitHub.


AI Poised to Become an Irreplaceable Tool for All Industries, Much Like GitHub is for Developers


Since its grand entrance in 2008, GitHub has reshaped the landscape of software development with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. Developers flock to GitHub not just because it’s there, but because it offers a sturdy, reliable platform for version control and collaboration. This isn’t just about keeping track of who changed what in the code; it’s about making it a cinch to jump into shared projects or contribute to the grand world of open-source software. With nifty tools like pull requests, branches, and merge functions, GitHub doesn’t just keep projects neat—it keeps them rolling without a hitch, boosting the productivity and efficiency of developers by leaps and bounds.


Back in the day—let’s say 2011—GitHub ascended to the throne as the king of open-source repository sites, leaving old guards like SourceForge in the digital dust. Its allure wasn’t just in its utility but in its vibe; GitHub adopted a social networking flair that let developers peer into each other’s projects, chip into open sources, and strut their stuff. By 2013, the platform boasted 3 million users. Now, it’s a basic survival skill for software engineers; not knowing your way around GitHub is akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight in the industry.


From a modest 40 million at the dawn of 2020, the ranks of GitHub's users in the top 30 economies swelled to over 110 million by the close of 2023.


Source: GitHub

The trajectory here is clear: tools that massively pump up a software engineer’s efficiency tend to stick around and become the gold standard—just like GitHub has.


Now, let's widen the lens beyond GitHub. Generative AI is poised to be more than just another tool; it’s set to turbocharge productivity across all fields by handling the mundane with flair. One of the Big Three of consulting, BCG, even nudges organizations towards deploying generative AI for daily grind tasks, suggesting a potential productivity spike of 10% to 20%. So, while GitHub rearranged the furniture in the software development room, generative AI is about to remodel the whole house.


No One is Truly Safe From AI


While some may don their white collars with a touch of confidence that AI shan't steal their desks just yet, it's not all sunshine and ergonomic office chairs. The reality is that many jobs hang on a precarious thread—not just threatened by AI itself, but by anyone who can wield AI more adeptly than you.


Take, for example, the whisperings within the high-stakes world of finance. The latest scoop from The New York Times is that investment analysts might want to start perusing the job ads. A snazzy generative AI solution by the name of “Socrates” has been showing off, crunching numbers and whipping up presentations with a zeal that makes human analysts look like they’re working in slow motion—and with none of the grumbling, either. The bigwigs over at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and their ilk are reportedly tossing around ideas about how drastically they could cut their fresh crop of analysts. Rumor has it that cuts could go as deep as two-thirds, with the lucky survivors possibly facing slimmer paychecks on the basis that their workload would be less grueling thanks to our AI friend.


So, is the spared one-third of the analyst crew truly safe? Hardly. Just being better than Socrates at their job won’t keep them secure. The world is not just moving; it’s sprinting towards a future where AI doesn’t just assist but sets a new gold standard in productivity. Being merely competent won’t do; fluency in AI is becoming crucial to not just thrive but perhaps even to just survive in the professional arenas of tomorrow. I leave you with a quote by the mastermind who is powering the AI trend right now with his GPUs:

“While some worry that AI may take their jobs, someone who’s expert with AI will.”
Jensen Huang, CEO, NVIDIA

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Use AI or Be Left Behind: AI May Replace You but People Who Use AI Effectively Definitely Will

In an age where artificial intelligence is busily elbowing its way into the workplace, quietly (or not so quietly) nudging certain job roles into the shadows of obsolescence, one might feel relatively secure nestled in a role that AI hasn’t quite mastered yet. But hold onto your hats—or better yet, your office chairs—because the plot thickens. You see, generative AI isn’t just about replacing the ....

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