ChatGPT Will Not Replace Jobs, Will Be Like AI Co-Worker: TCS

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Ever since its prototype launch in November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been grabbing headlines across the globe over its capability of generating surprisingly human-like responses to users’ queries. From writing school essays to creating programming codes, ChatGPT appears to be able to take care of complex tasks and offer detailed solutions in a matter of seconds. Hence, several companies are not actively looking at integrating ChatGPT into its services and operations, leading to anxiety among employees who believe ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence (AI)-driven tools will soon put them out of work. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), however, feels generative AI platforms like ChatGPT will create an “AI co-worker” and not replace jobs.

“It will be a co-worker and that co-worker will take time for them to understand the context of the customer,” said Milind Lakkad, the chief human resources officer (CHRO) at TCS. One of India’s largest IT services firms, TCS employs over six lakh people. In an interview with PTI, Lakkad said that such tools will help improve productivity, but not change the business models for companies.

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“It is not that jobs will get replaced, but the job definitions will change,” Lakkad added, trying to assuage concerns about the future of jobs in the sector, which happens to be one of the biggest recruiters of engineering talent in the country.

Already, there are examples of entire codes being generated through such platforms. One of the reasons for massive layoffs by big tech companies across the world is being attributed to the emergence of such intuitive platforms.

Lakkad said the context in which a particular customer works is extremely important, and the need to differentiate its offerings from competition makes it essential for a customer to keep on evolving continuously.

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The amount of work to be done by a human being versus the generative AI platforms will vary as per industry as well, Lakkad added. He claims that it will reduce the need for managerial talent but the demand for workers lower down the hierarchy will continue as they will get crucial skills on the context front.

“It’s (generative AI) a good thing to happen for the future, but I think it will be collaboration rather than replacement,” Lakkad said, adding that the emergence of such tools will not change the business models.

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Such tools will help improve the productivity, consistency of the work which gets delivered and reduce the need for governance, up the pace of delivery and reduce the need for peripheral functions, he said.

TCS is using such inputs in “some pockets” already, Lakkad said, adding that a lot of the work will happen in these areas going forward and the entire picture will get clear only in two years’ time.

There will be changes in training which will take place as a result, Lakkad said, adding that the company pays a lot of attention to this aspect and typically plans in advance for requirements of the future. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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