top of page

Can I ChatGPT to an early retirement?

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Like many #creatives I know, I’m exploring #AI’s possibilities:

I’ll prompt some images, ask for a fact summary or rundown of relevant quotes…

But I can’t shake the fear instilled in me by the illustration below. (It and the fear are the genesis of this post. Saw this image and immediately jumped on my blog.) Yes, The New Yorker's published several covers, cartoons, and articles on the topic of AI, but this one stuck.

I don’t see the singularity on the horizon, but I do foresee more and more of us working with our replacements, and likely to our detriment.

With AI, we can complete more tasks in less time, but for whose benefit? We’re all competing, sure, and those who can do more can maybe pull ahead of the pack. Eventually, though, everyone will adapt and the competitive edge will become less pronounced.

Per fears of keeping the edge: I skimmed an article this weekend about a CEO who’s frustrated that workers could be using AI and automation to work multiple jobs at once. The response: Ratchet up productivity by a few factors of 10 (30-50 percent!).

So, should a worker be "allowed" to work more than one job? Or is the employer within their rights to reactively mandate the use of new productivity tools and reap the benefits of the increased output? Top of my mind: When should the employer pay more for this gain?

So far, the scurry to corner this new tool is highlighting, for me, some of capitalism's worst instincts, desires, and truths: Cue again that CEO's fiendish desire to own "their" reports' time.

In my opinion, a company owns the output, not the time. Want more? Buy the tools / stage the job, then advertise the job, and then see who takes the job. Not getting the hires you want? Well, pay could be a factor, hah.

Reacting petulantly in medias res ... that should show anyone paying attention what kind of a boss that CEO really is. The expectations will include being available 24/7, a willingness to be surveilled, and an all-in mentality no matter how much more is sent your way.

All of this is on my mind of late as I have the tips of my toes over the full-time freelancing cliff. Do I jump? More and more, controlling what I do and with whom sounds very appealing.

That said, AI and myriad other changes, they may give me a push, ready or not.


bottom of page