Artificial intelligence isn't just making inroads in technology. Soon, AI may replace human beings in jobs as evidenced by one company that has created two AI interns.
Kyle Monson, co-founder of the digital marketing company Codeword, appeared on ABC News' daily podcast "Start Here" to talk about the creation of AI interns Aiden and Aiko, who will be assisting in editorial and engineering. Their creation comes amid the sensation of the artificial intelligence-driven program ChatGPT, which has gone viral for responding to user prompts, utilizing Shakespeare and poetry in their efforts to recreate human interaction.
Monson spoke about the implications of these digital hires that mirror humans and if there is a potential to erase human intelligence.
START HERE: If you've ever been an intern, you know there's a lot of thankless work involved. But perhaps no intern has ever been asked to do as much as these ones. Is it true that your interns don't get to take any time off?
Kyle Monson: That's a great question. Yeah, they're there when we need them. They are hustling and grinding all the time.
START HERE: That's Kyle Monson from this digital marketing company called Codeword and this taskmaster has two subordinates that only exist digitally.
Monson: We figured why not bring on some non-human resources to go along with our human resources? Yeah, we brought on two. We're calling them AI interns. Their names are Aiden and Aiko.
START HERE: So maybe in recent days you've heard of this thing called ChatGPT. It's basically this piece of software that can teach itself to understand human questions, scour the internet for relevant info, and deliver an intelligible answer. It's like Siri, but if Siri could write a five-paragraph essay on command. Well, this company has decided to use this type of technology to create two artificial intelligence interns.
Their first assignment was naming themselves; they came up with Aiden and Aiko. Both start with the letters A-I, get it? One will be a writer for the editorial team, one will work in engineering. What would they do?
Monson: What do any interns do? I don't know. We're going to figure that out. There's actually quite a lot. There's a lot of support that Aiko can do for writers and editors, for instance, especially in the marketing context, tone analysis, for instance, research on the industry, and news roundups.
START HERE: What was fascinating, how many times Kyle said they're treating them like any intern because the most common thing among interns is that they're inexperienced, unproven. As a result, Aiden and Aiko will not be blindly given big assignments. Their work won't be seen directly by clients, since they can make embarrassing mistakes. While computer systems have taken care of data entry for a long time, part of the assignment here for Codeword is to figure out whether these systems can help a creative field.
Are you worried that Aiko might plagiarize things? Or Aiden? When you ask them about stuff, are they going to get you in trouble?
Monson: That's a really good question, as well. We're not going to put them to work doing public facing assignments.
START HERE: The obvious question here is whether the "hiring" of these interns came at the expense of young, hungry, human tech workers just out of college. Are entry-level jobs going to become irrelevant? I decided to ask the interns about this directly. They haven't been given voices yet – although creepily, they do have computer-generated faces – so Kyle volunteered to read Aiden's response to my question.
Monson: Here's how Aiden responded: "Artificial intelligence is already being used in marketing and other areas of the information economy, and it has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness. However, it is unlikely that AI will completely replace human intelligence in these areas."
START HERE: And yet even that didn't reassure me. This is like an essay. How long did it take Aiden to write this?
Monson: Like 0.6 seconds.
START HERE: One of the big challenges for teachers, just in recent weeks, is knowing whether their students' essays were written by humans or by ChatbotGPT.
Kyle says he usually skims cover letters from college kids, but if job applicants are now asking AI to do their work for them, it'll be tough to hold that against. After all, candidates and management now have the same intern.