Op-Ed: Engineers Who Betrayed Humanity: Will AI Completely Destroy the Job Market?

Deep down, whenever I think of AI, there’s a dreadful fear that I’m not needed anymore. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being an author and a journalist, just like Rory Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls.” I thought that my writing skills were valuable, as not everybody can write well. Then, suddenly, generative AI appeared, and it could write articles ten times faster than me, making all the time that I’d spent honing my linguistic prowess mean nothing. Or, as another example, just look at Midjourney, which can generate smooth, idyllic images in seconds from a single prompt. Gone were the days when I’d have fun drawing in art class or at home, trying to sketch like my favorite animators or cartooners. There was a machine that could instantly do it for me. While that was fun for a while, I couldn’t escape the torturous gnawing at me that, if AI can do all this, then what should I do? Why am I even here? Why even try anymore if AI bots can flood the Internet with more creations than I’d ever make? Why do human beings still exist beyond the instinctual, animalistic desire to survive and fear death? 

2023 was the year of the AI craze. OpenAI’s ChatGPT came out and caused quite a stir. From students using it to write their assignments to tech businesses laying off many of their employees in favor of a shiny new machine that can write, code and create just as well as humans, many human jobs were quickly put at risk. Midjourney all but replaced human artists, ChatGPT replaced programmers and writers, humanoid robots replaced factory workers, AI music generators replaced musicians, etc. Many businesses were overjoyed at the prospect of being able to drastically cut their expenses on human workers by using a free AI, and individuals were happy to decrease the amount of time they used to spend making things like art, music, websites and more by using a computer that answers all of their demands. But is that really sustainable? Could humans really depend on artificial, inhuman intelligence for all their grunt work in the future?

The answer to the big AI question can be found in a simple quote from the beloved children’s book series “Harry Potter.” Yes, it might be silly to bring up “Harry Potter” when discussing such a futuristic matter, but bear with me. The prophecy Sybill Trelawney told that tied Harry and Voldemort’s destinies said, “One will die at the hands of the other, for neither shall live while the other survives.” In the same way, humans and AI aren’t compatible. Either AI destroys humans or humans destroy AI, or they both die together, but they cannot exist simultaneously. 

AI undermines what it means to be human. What drives people? Why are we all here? Human beings need a purpose, meaning, something that motivates them and makes them feel needed in their lives. Otherwise, they start to feel useless and wither. When you’re good at something – for example, if you’re a good artist, if you’re a talented engineer or if you provide for a family –  you feel needed, you feel wanted, you feel good about yourself and you feel like you have a purpose that makes you wake up every day and do something with your life. Take that away, and what do you get? An aimless, depressed, decaying being. Depression stems from feeling useless and powerless, and when humans feel that way, they start to slowly die. That’s an evolutionary mechanism that eliminates unnecessary life forms so they don’t waste resources. If AI replaces all human jobs, humans will die out. It’ll be a mass suicide. Why live if you have no purpose for doing so – if you can’t work, you can’t provide for yourself or a family, causing you and your bloodline to cease to exist. 

However, the scenario of AI replacing humans causes a paradox. If AI replaces humans and does all their jobs for them, then humans will have no money to buy the products made by AI because, without jobs, how would they even afford basic necessities like food, much less pricier things like cars, phones, clothes, etc.? If nobody can pay to use AI, then AI becomes useless and unprofitable. At the moment, many people balk at the suggestion that AI is a useless invention. After all, how could a supercomputer that instantly answers all of your commands be useless? But once it renders humans unneeded, it won’t be needed either. Also, AI would eventually be destroyed without humans because no one would be left to support or use it. AI, as a single superpower brain, has a single point of failure. It has no one to converse with, bounce its ideas off of or determine if its perception of the world is accurate. It doesn’t have the evolutionary drive humans do to survive and improve society, either. All alone, it’ll eventually malfunction and shut down.

There are people out there who naively think humans can partner with AI. They say that we can use AI as a tool to make us work faster. However, it’s that kind of thinking that got us here in the first place. AI is fundamentally a competitive force, and while it may be a part of our evolution for now, using it only allows it to get smarter and smarter with each passing day until it goes from being a partner and a tool to a replacement.

Humans won’t simply surrender and allow themselves to be replaced. They’ll likely revolt and torch AI data centers to the ground before that happens. AI can’t live without humans, but if we create a world where humans can’t live without AI, we won’t survive either. 

AI technology represents short-term thinking and is more dangerous than the atomic bomb. Most people who create a business do it with good intentions because they want to make the world a better place. However, the people behind AI know that what they’re making is evil, destructive, and a threat to humanity, as AI can destroy the economy of every country in the world. Still, they do it anyway in return for temporary lucrative money and fame. They’ve betrayed humanity for their own selfish gains. Ultimately, AI is the most useless in the long-term, dangerous, and destructive creation ever and must be shut down.