5 min read

MidWeek Briefing #7

AI is spying on us and taking middle management jobs. Say it isn't so!
MidWeek Briefing #7
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona / Unsplash

Good Wednesday evening. A bit late today due to some personal issues but here's this week's MidWeek Briefing!

AI hallucinations

Everyone I talk to relative to the Generative AI space is worried about hallucinations, and they should be concerned. How do you test an LLM to make sure the output isn't a load of BS? These concerns are hampering the widespread adoption of LLMs across all industries.

The good news is that participants in the AI space are responding to this problem. They're creating tools to test the validity and reliability of these LLMs and I expect this problem will be solved over the next few years.

AI hallucinations: The 3% problem no one can fix slows the AI juggernaut - SiliconANGLE
AI hallucinations: The 3% problem no one can fix slows the AI juggernaut - SiliconANGLE
AI hallucinations are infrequent but constant, making up between 3% and 10% of responses to the queries – or prompts – that users submit to generative AI models. IBM Corp. defines AI hallucinations as a phenomenon in which a large language model “perceives patterns or objects that are nonexistent or imperceptible to human observers, creating outputs that are nonsensical or altogether inaccurate.” The phenomenon has drawn so much attention that Dictionary.com LLC recently declared “hallucinate” its word of the year.

UPS lays off 12,000 managers as AI replaces jobs

I joked somewhere about creating ceoGPT, a GPT that will replace CEOs and I got some crazy pushback on that. I was told that CEOs are vital to a company, to provide guidance and inspiration for the mission (whatever that is). I must've hit a nerve because AI and it's derivations are replacing middle managers.

UPS lays off 12,000 managers as AI replaces jobs
Artificial intelligence allows UPS to fire 12,000 managers without ever having to rehire them. The company is also introducing other radical changes, such as requiring employees to be in the office five days a week.
Last year there were talks between UPS and the unions, during which Carol Tomé said the company's motto would change from "better not bigger" to "better and bolder". The company is cutting 12,000 of its 85,000 management jobs because labour costs have risen sharply and inflation has eroded customers' purchasing power. The aim is to save around $1 billion.
Carol Tomé explains that the job cuts have been made possible by new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and will help ensure that those made redundant will not have to be rehired in the future. Home working will also be restricted and employees will be asked to return to the company five days a week, among other changes to be announced on 26 March. Another slap in the face is the fact that many of the managers being made redundant started their careers as parcel deliverers...

Roughly 14% of UPS's management workforce is being cut and I suspect this will only increase and spread across industries.

The one-person billion-dollar company

There's no doubt in my mind that a one person company that will be worth and/or sell 1 billion dollars worth of goods or services will emerge soon. I know some people that are 1 person companies that are million dollar revenue generating companies, so

The One-person Billion-dollar Company
Can AI agents make you a billionaire?
“We’re going to see 10-person companies with billion-dollar valuations pretty soon…in my little group chat with my tech CEO friends there’s this betting pool for the first year there is a one-person billion-dollar company, which would’ve been unimaginable without AI. And now [it] will happen.”
Altman’s idea is that AI tools will soon reach the point where they can replicate the entire output of human employees. Instead of needing to hire a designer, you can use GPT-6 to design for you. There will be far less need for software engineers (meh), sales staff (no one will miss them), and newsletter writers (a tragedy of Greek proportions, leaving our society barren and empty).

I cracked up about the "newsletter writers" bit.

More companies are using AI to monitor their workers

This one is from the Dystopian file. Large companies are using AI to keep tabs on the output of their workers.

How Walmart, Delta, Chevron and Starbucks are using AI to monitor employee messages
Aware uses AI to analyze companies’ employee messages across Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other communications services.
Huge U.S. employers such as WalmartDelta Air LinesT-MobileChevron and Starbucks, as well as European brands including Nestle and AstraZeneca, have turned to a seven-year-old startup, Aware, to monitor chatter among their rank and file, according to the company.

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