“Workers do report, though, that the intensity of their work has increased after the adoption of AI in their workplaces.”
A new crop of artificial intelligence tools carries the promise of streamlining tasks, improving efficiency and boosting productivity in the workplace. But that hasn’t been Neil Clarke’s experience so far.
Clarke, an editor and publisher, said he recently had to temporarily shutter the online submission form for his science fiction and fantasy magazine, Clarkesworld, after his team was inundated with a deluge of “consistently bad” AI-generated submissions.
“They’re some of the worst stories we’ve seen, actually,” Clarke said of the hundreds of pieces of AI-produced content he and his team of humans now must manually parse through. “But it’s more of the problem of volume, not quality. The quantity is burying us.”
“It almost doubled our workload,” he added, describing the latest AI tools as “a thorn in our side for the last few months.” Clarke said that he anticipates his team is going to have to close submissions again. “It’s going to reach a point where we can’t handle it.”
Since ChatGPT launched late last year, many of the tech world’s most prominent figures have waxed poetic about how AI has the potential to boost productivity, help us all work less and create new and better jobs in the future. “In the next few years, the main impact of AI on work will be to help people do their jobs more efficiently,” Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said in a blog post recently.
But as is often the case with tech, the long-term impact isn’t always clear or the same across industries and markets. Moreover, the road to a techno-utopia is often bumpy and plagued with unintended consequences, whether it’s lawyers fined for submitting fake court citations from ChatGPT or a small publication buried under an avalanche of computer-generated submissions.
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