The Evolution of AI

Nora Blackie
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The evolution of AI

AI has been cropping up in the news and media more and more in recent years. AI seems to be the agreed-upon next step for technology and before the pandemic, it was often viewed by the public with a futuristic lens in sci-fi movies and fantasy. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have begun to see more everyday uses for this technology and, in more recent months, the accessibility of AI to the average person has exploded. The place that you probably see AI the most these days is TikTok with a new trend popping up every month. From creating pictures into art to creating fake scripts after watching hours of one show, or even writing school essays and blog posts that have caused teachers to crack down on students using AI.

While students may feel that AI has only just begun to be implemented and used in everyday life, it is already being used across all different sectors and businesses. For example, many places have started using AI in recruitment processes for automatic hiring. The company input the candidate they are looking for and the AI scans through all the applicants to determine the best one. However, this has caused some controversy as some AI began to discriminate and automatically delete anyone that wasn’t male despite having the correct experience. This is a problem and a big failure of AI as it can be easily influenced and changed as it does not have its own moral compass, is AI only as good as it’s programmers?

AI has seen some success within the hospitality industry using robots as waiters. Covid-19 led to many hospitality businesses closing their doors and even once restaurants were open again the impact of the pandemic and Brexit led to a large drop in hospitality staff, with 10% of hospitality jobs still unfilled. Bella Italia first began trailing robots in their restaurants in June of last year due to worker shortages post-pandemic. They have found these robots to be a massive hit and they are able to carry and deliver plates to customers. Eric Guo, the chief executive of Spark which distributes Pudu robots in the UK, said they work with many places and are expecting to continue to expand. Most are operating in restaurants, but hotels, supermarkets, care homes, snooker clubs and bowling alleys are also experimenting with the technology. AI is able to streamline many processes that these sectors have in place, including customer service, helplines, and delivery services.

Many see the adoption of AI as inevitable and that robots working in the hospitality sector will ultimately lead to better wages for others in the same business, robots don’t need sick days or even a wage. However, there are many people that rely on jobs such as waiting tables or stacking shelves. With the rise in living costs more and more students are finding themselves needing to take part-time jobs to stay afloat even with maintenance loans. Will students now need to compete with AI during the hiring process?  

AI is still in the early days and there are still many kinks that need straightening out, but could this see a big change in the part-time job sector?