Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, August 25, 2023

Career Corner: Is AI nothing more than marketing?

Stating AI is a marketing tool is a bit controversial, but hear me out.

Artificial intelligence is getting so much media attention that it is challenging Taylor Swift for the number of search inquiries on Google. There’s talk about companies incorporating AI into everything they do. And, fear of AI replacing our jobs is growing.

Some companies are using AI to do incredible things. But many other companies are using AI as a new marketing term. From the outside, the entire topic can feel confusing and alarming.

I had an enlightening conversation recently about AI with a friend who, like me, has a degree in computer engineering. This friend is a bit younger than me, and he now develops AI technology.

When I was in college, I explained, artificial intelligence and machine learning didn’t exist. I felt I had missed out on many of the new concepts that exist today. My friend shared that the education had not actually changed that much. AI is just a new way to talk about technology. It’s a new language.

Yes, some companies are doing big things with AI, he added. But many other companies are using AI for their branding. AI and ML are new terms that sound smart.

So, what does this mean for you? Think back to the time before AI when we were nervous that technology would replace our jobs. Computers became commonplace and helped to make things more efficient.

In some cases, jobs changed or evolved. But for the most part, we’re all still here, still working. This is not unlike what will likely happen with AI.

AI will certainly help us do some things faster. It might help make writing a bit easier. It might help with planning. But we’ll still be needed. Humans create strategy. Humans add a level of care and insight that a computer could never provide.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there will be no impact. AI will influence change. But the real impact is likely being exaggerated online today. Companies are throwing around terms like AI and ML because it makes them (the companies) appear to be up to date with technology. It’s a marketing tactic.

What does this mean for you? Learning a little about AI might help you to ease your fears. If you believe your job will be impacted more than others, it might be time to evaluate your other skillsets.

Think of your professional skills like you would think of an investment account. Diversifying your skillset can help to avoid any major issues.

But, try to remain calm. AI is interesting and has some great potential. But it is likely not set to take over our human workforce.

Angela Copeland, a leadership and career expert, can be reached at www.angelacopeland.com.