Microsoft announces it's going to pump billions into an AI software that could make white collar jobs obsolete
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Microsoft has announced plans for a multibillion-dollar investment into AI software which experts believe could wipe out the need for white collar jobs.
The tech company announced its investment plans this week as the third phase of its partnership with OpenAI, the artificial intelligence company responsible for the popular ChatGPT program.
Microsoft has previously invested in OpenAI in 2019 and 2021, but its renewed partnership aims to accelerate breakthroughs in AI technology.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the partnership came as a result of a 'shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform'.
However, Pengcheng Shi, an associate dean in the Department of Computing and Information Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, has claimed 'AI is replacing the white-collar workers'.
Speaking to The New York Post, the tech expert expressed belief no one 'can stop' AI replacing professional, managerial, or administrative workers and added: "This is not crying wolf. The wolf is at the door.”
News of Microsoft's new partnership with OpenAI came just days after the announcement that the tech company would be laying off 10,000 employees as it braces for slower revenue growth.
Nadella told employees in a memo posted online that the lay offs would reduce Microsoft’s head count by less than 5 percent, adding: “I’m confident that Microsoft will emerge from this stronger and more competitive."
Shi acknowledged a number of different industries that might be vulnerable amid the rise of AI technology, including the financial sector, health care and publishing.
However, he believes humans will learn how to harness the technology.
Chinmay Hegde, a computer science and electrical engineering associate professor at New York University, agreed that AI will impact a number of trades as they commented: "Certain jobs in sectors such as journalism, higher education, graphic and software design — these are at risk of being supplemented by AI."
OpenAI's program ChatGPT, which was released for free to the public in November, is capable of answering follow-up questions, recognising mistakes and rejecting inappropriate requests, among other skills.
Shi said it is already able to 'easily teach classes', while Hedge said website designers and engineers responsible for creating relatively simple code are at risk of being made obsolete.
“I worry for such people," Hedge said. "Now I can just ask ChatGPT to generate a website for me — any type of person whose routine job would be doing this for me is no longer needed.”
As well as encouraging faster development in the technology, Microsoft's investment in OpenAI aims to help both companies commercialise the advanced technologies in the future.
Topics: Technology, Microsoft