Unintentionally, ChatGPT will transform society by shifting its governance away from woke progressivism and toward traditional liberalism and conservatism.
By Patricia Adams and Lawrence Solomon | Published by The Epoch Times
Unlike earlier waves of artificial intelligence (AI), where robots and other forms of automation eliminated blue-collar and other physical work, AI innovations such as ChatGPT will target better-paid occupations involving “non-routine, cognitive tasks,” according to the “OECD Employment Outlook 2023: Artificial Intelligence and the Labour Market.”
Worldwide, says Goldman Sachs, 300 million jobs are at risk. The occupations that will especially be hit, says Business Insider, include tech jobs such as computer programmers, coders, software engineers, and data analysts and media jobs, such as graphic designers, advertising, content creation, technical writing, and journalism.
These occupations, along with the TV and movie industry, form much of the woke world. The realization that their jobs are marked for disappearance can be seen in the current strike by Hollywood writers, who demand guarantees that ChatGPT won’t eliminate their jobs.
While multitudes of workers in these woke-dominated fields will suffer, not so the woke bosses at the top of the pyramids, who will prosper by running their departments with the larger budgets that come of slashed payroll expenses. And not so the woke institutions that employ them: the Big Tech that rules social media; the legacy media that censors dissenting views; the universities and cultural institutions that foster the growth of critical theory; the Fortune 500 companies that enforce the woke philosophy of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
But although these progressive-left employers will become more remunerative, they will ultimately become less powerful, since AI apps and robots don’t get to vote. Big Tech will continue to censor and the educational system will continue to indoctrinate, but their hold over many will weaken. Workers who presently identify with the woke world will migrate to less progressive occupations in less progressive industries in less progressive communities, eroding their identification with the woke economy.
The wholesale job losses to come can be seen in IBM’s recent decision to impose a hiring freeze in HR, finance, accounting, and other back-office functions.
“I could easily see 30 per cent of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg.
In contrast to lost jobs in Big Business and in the virtual spheres, many of the non-woke fields—where people use their hands rather than laptops—will be left relatively untouched. ChatGPT won’t replace the plumbers who install water systems, the electricians who upgrade the service in homes, or the piano movers who help families relocate to a new home.
While white-collar workers such as lawyers may be at risk, “Occupations for which a significant share of workers’ time is spent outdoors or performing physical labor cannot be automated by AI,” Goldman Sachs predicted. Stories already abound of employees in woke sectors becoming HVAC technicians and plumbers, or starting their own small businesses, after they were laid off due to ChatGPT.
When employed in large institutions, workers face few threats to their survival—paychecks are regular; medical plans are a given; pensions are secured. When booted from this nanny environment, people must fend for and think for themselves. Those with the gumption to adapt—to struggle with the challenges of new, less comfortable chapters in their lives—will inevitably develop different mindsets.
As the economy becomes more automated with fewer low-level administrators, employment will tend to become less bureaucratic, more entrepreneurial, and—among the millions shed by big business—more poorly paid. As woke employment in woke corporations falls, the surplus of woke workers will lead woke wages to fall and resentments to rise. As occurred following the loss of industrial jobs in the smokestack industries, loss of jobs in the IT and virtual industries will fuel populist sentiment that led to Donald Trump’s election in 2016, and to President Trump today edging ahead of President Joe Biden in polls for the 2024 election.
According to public opinion polling, about half of the population is sympathetic to woke policies, and one-third identifies as woke. While few victims of ChatGPT will change their perspectives overnight, and many may never change them, large numbers will inevitably shift their allegiances under the influence of new non-woke peer groups and the exigencies of their new occupations.
ChatGPT is a technology intended to transform the economy by enhancing its productivity. Unintentionally, ChatGPT will simultaneously transform society by shifting its governance away from woke progressivism and toward traditional liberalism and conservatism.