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Forrester Report, Coding jobs, Hyper-personalization, RFPs, Name middle substitute (Oct 9, 2023)


by Tom Johnson on Oct 9, 2023

classes:
ai

api-doc

jobs

writing

information

The next are hyperlinks from across the internet for October 10, 2023. Forrester predicts a significant AI impression on U.S. jobs in 2023. A CEO faces backlash for changing and criticizing human employees with ChatGPT. Zeb Larson assures coders that ChatGPT is not a job risk, whereas Rex Woodbury explores the rise of hyper-personalization. Lastly, gross sales execs welcome AI’s function of their business.

Articles listed right here embody the next:

Forrester’s 2023 Generative AI Jobs Influence Forecast, US

August 30, 2023, Forrester
LINK

  • Generative AI will reshape 4.5X extra jobs by affect somewhat than full substitute. Whereas 2.4 million jobs could also be misplaced by 2030, over 11 million can be augmented however not eradicated.

  • Generative AI will primarily have an effect on white collar workplace and administrative assist roles, particularly jobs requiring faculty levels and middle-income salaries.

  • The report lists “technical writers, social science analysis assistants, proofreaders, and copywriters” as a number of the more than likely jobs to be automated and changed somewhat than merely augmented/influenced.

This report paints a grim image for the way forward for technical writing, suggesting that it’s a function extra simply automated than different kinds of jobs, even editor. Different roles will extra possible be augmented somewhat than changed by AI, however apparently not technical writing. Right here’s the guts of the report:

Generative AI will affect 4.5 instances extra jobs than it replaces. By 2030, we forecast that generative AI will affect greater than 11 million US jobs, or 4.5 instances the variety of jobs changed (see Determine 3). Affect is totally different from job loss. It means reshaping, retraining, and upskilling current employees to include generative AI instruments into the every day workflow. Jobs which might be simpler to automate that even have excessive generative AI affect, corresponding to technical writers, social science analysis assistants, proofreaders, and copywriters, usually tend to be misplaced. More durable-to-automate jobs with excessive generative AI affect, corresponding to editors, writers, authors and poets, lyricists, and artistic writers, usually tend to affect how jobs are performed (through augmentation) somewhat than exchange them.

Right here’s a graph displaying technical writers within the quadrant the place duties are topic to each affect and automation:

Forrester report foretelling automation of tech writer roles in the future
“Affect And Automation Potential Collectively Yield Job Losses (p.9)”

The report doesn’t clarify why the researchers suppose technical writing can extra simply be automated, nor does it outline what it means by technical writing, however we are able to speculate as to the explanation why:

  • Most documentation follows a plain, unvoiced type that’s simple to mimic in distinction to extra artistic or inventive voices.

  • AI instruments do a very good job at simplifying complicated info into extra readable language, even together with examples as wanted.

  • Editors carry out higher-level duties like shaping story narratives, making certain consistency/high quality, and offering critique. These duties contain extra basic intelligence and human judgment, that are more durable to automate. In brief, enhancing requires extra creativity and subjectivity.

  • Technical writing follows extra structured, formulaic templates and pointers. This makes the output extra predictable for an AI system to generate.

  • Technical writers don’t essentially create authentic concepts, however somewhat distill and talk technical info created by others. Generative AI can analyze supply materials and rewrite it in several methods.

  • Technical writing has a extra definable, constant output and high quality standards. In distinction, enhancing high quality for different kinds of writing might be extra nuanced and contextual.

So yeah, I can see why Forrester may say that technical writing is at a better danger of automation and job loss than different roles like editor (presumably a e book or journal editor, not a technical editor). I’m guessing that the mannequin for technical writing may contain engineers utilizing AI instruments to do the writing, somewhat than delegate the work to technical writers, however the report by no means explains these particulars.

The Forrester researchers say that we’re in a two-year holding sample proper now till some moral questions get sorted out:

In our mannequin, we assume that job losses from generative AI over the subsequent two years will stay modest till questions on mental property rights, copyright, plagiarism, mannequin refresh charges, mannequin bias, ethics, and mannequin response reliability are resolved.

In my latest submit, What I discovered in utilizing AI for planning and prioritization: Content material technique is likely to be protected from automation, I recommend that technical writers ought to emphasize extra content-strategy-like roles as a result of these roles require extra complicated, analytical thought that’s more durable to automate. However even when you pivot from tech author to content material strategist inside your function, in case your job title continues to be “technical author,” will that pivot matter?

Though I’ve by no means actually pushed again arduous in opposition to the title “technical author,” it is likely to be time to desert it. The assumptions baked into the “technical author” job title assume that one spends most of 1’s time writing technical info. The various different points of the job are missed. For instance, you is likely to be doing a ton of developer expertise content material technique to your developer portal, but when most individuals suppose you simply edit and publish textual content that engineers offer you, when the grim reaper begins swinging the layoff ax, that presumed light-weight function is likely to be first to go.

Altering job titles, although, is troublesome as a result of most corporations have in depth score and overview programs primarily based on rigorously outlined job roles at every degree. A “Technical Author IV” is far more of a content material strategist than a “Technical Author II,” however are individuals exterior of tech comm accustomed to these variations? The Technical Author IV lives in ambiguity and complicated tasks, whereas the Technical Author II may focus primarily on enhancing and publishing.

This Forrester report is miserable and irritating, nevertheless it’s good to learn now somewhat than later. If the Forrester report is credible, in two years, if we don’t recast our function as one thing extra complicated and analytical, our function has a excessive danger of being automated.


CEO roasts human employees he fired and changed with ChatGPT, by Victor Tangermann

The Byte, LINK

  • Suumit Shah, CEO of Indian e-commerce firm Dukaan, fired most of his customer support group and changed them with a ChatGPT-powered bot.
  • Shah claims the bot is “100 instances smarter” and much cheaper than the human employees. He roasted the previous workers as inferior to AI.
  • The brazen transfer alerts a dystopian future as extra corporations comply with go well with in changing human roles with AI, devastating jobs like name facilities globally.

If name middle jobs evaporate, this may truly improve the significance of documentation — motive being, somewhat than having name middle brokers present solutions, the AI would offer solutions as a substitute that it culls from documentation sources. And the place would that documentation come from, if not from technical writers?

AI instruments want legitimate sources from which to drag info. However somewhat than having polished, navigable documentation, maybe tech writers might merely shortly curate the solutions into a big repository whose main perform isn’t to be learn by finish customers however somewhat to supply an enter supply for an AI. The AI would devour the enter supply to seek out solutions, dynamically remodeling the supply info into coherent, legible responses rendered in actual time to customers questions. That is what I wrote about in my submit AI chat interfaces might turn into the first consumer interface to learn documentation.

For AI instruments to supply clever, correct responses, the enter supply must have the data. Curating that info is likely to be a method that technical author roles are reworked.


ChatGPT Isn’t Coming for Your Coding Job, by Zeb Larson

Sept 17, 2023
WIRED, LINK

  • New applied sciences like compilers and AI assistants can assist builders, however historical past exhibits they don’t exchange them.
  • Makes an attempt to eradicate programmers typically simply add complexity, growing the necessity for his or her abilities.
  • Whereas AI could velocity up duties, it will probably’t perceive codebases or necessities like engineers do.
  • Coders have all the time tailored and turn into extra very important, and AI will possible increase, not threaten, programming work.

I didn’t understand that “programmers” had been initially seen as lowly, menial jobs to assist “engineers.” (At present the 2 titles are principally synonymous.) The gist of the article means that technological evolutions solely compound and amplify the necessity for extra know-how consultants.

What technological revolutions do, the article explains, is automate a number of the work. The writer writes, “Extra cheap solutions present that giant language fashions (LLMs) can exchange a number of the duller work of engineering. They will provide autocomplete solutions or strategies to type knowledge, in the event that they’re prompted accurately.” To make use of an analogy, AI provides mathematicians a calculator somewhat than changing the mathematicians.

The writer notes that some employers may look to cut back staffing numbers and nonetheless anticipate the identical or extra productiveness from employees. However chances are high, the work gained’t recede; it’s going to solely improve, thus negating the power to eradicate roles.

The writer writes, “ChatGPT might nonetheless upend the tech labor market by expectations of larger productiveness. If it eliminates a number of the extra routine duties of improvement (and places Stack Overflow out of enterprise), managers might be able to make extra calls for of the engineers who work for them. However computing historical past has already demonstrated that makes an attempt to cut back the presence of builders or streamline their function solely find yourself including complexity to the work and making these employees much more mandatory.”


The Hyper-Personalization of Every thing, by Rex Woodbury

October 4, 2023, Digital Native
LINK

  • The rise of individualistic tradition and new applied sciences like AI are resulting in hyper-personalized merchandise, providers, and experiences. Shoppers more and more anticipate choices tailor-made particularly to them.
  • Successive improvements enabled extra personalization, from mass manufacturing within the Industrial Revolution to on-line fragmentation and area of interest communities. AI will take it even additional.
  • Hyper-personalization brings advantages like higher buyer alignment, however dangers exacerbating loneliness and over-customization. The best is balanced between particular person customization and shared neighborhood.

I’m sorry that I hold relating every part to AI, nevertheless it’s arduous to not interpret the opportunity of hyper-personalized documentation with out it. I lately wished to study extra about Javadoc tags, and I requested ChatGPT to create a customized course all about Javadoc tags. It was fairly superior. I feel we’re beginning a brand new period of hyper-personalization, because the writer describes.

We recurrently hear how good assist content material ought to provide totally different paths for novices and superior customers. Or we deliberate whether or not we should always insert in depth facet notes in tutorials on condition that the data won’t align with what customers have to know. Or how we should always customise the documentation of APIs throughout the context of particular business use instances and eventualities. Few individuals have time to create totally different variations of assist content material, on condition that tech writers usually are understaffed for the work. However AI instruments provide the promise of hyper-personalized documentation, with out further work.


Generative AI Is Coming for Gross sales Execs’ Jobs—and They’re Celebrating, by Paresh Dave

Oct 5, 2023
WIRED LINK

  • Generative AI instruments like ChatGPT are being utilized by corporations like Twilio and Google Cloud to automate drafting responses to RFPs (requests for proposals), saving gross sales groups vital time.
  • The RFP bots entry related firm data and use AI to generate polished responses, with people reviewing and making ultimate edits.
  • Whereas fears persist about AI automating jobs, gross sales groups welcome the aid from RFP drudgery. Extra bids could also be despatched as productiveness rises, and RFP questions might quickly be AI-generated too.

The RFP bots appear extremely relevant to tech comm. Nevertheless, one distinction is that the RFP bots are utilized by gross sales brokers to get the solutions from the bot earlier than including to the RFP. In most documentation eventualities, individuals need consumer self-service, in order that customers can straight discover these solutions themselves. It’s unlikely that an organization would permit customers to straight entry inside paperwork, a lot of which could have outdated, confidential, or inappropriate info for customers. In each eventualities, there nonetheless must be a human current.

The gross sales execs rejoice the RFP bot as a result of, in accordance with the Twilio CEO, “This can unencumber our options engineers to concentrate on extra complicated issues that demand not simply reasoning, however human contextualization.” The concept is to have AI eradicate the drudgery whereas releasing up time and power to concentrate on extra complicated issues.

The writer explains, “They devised a way that pairs a program that retrieves snippets related to the questions in an RFP from technical documentation and different sources the corporate with a system that directs GPT-4 to summarize these snippets in a transparent {and professional} tone. GPT-4 proved able to producing extraordinarily correct responses—although options engineers and technical consultants nonetheless overview or edit each reply earlier than sending them off to a potential shopper.”

In my experiments with AI, I attempted to comply with the same strategy by gathering all related paperwork associated to a bug, including them right into a Google Doc that I fed into NotebookLM, after which querying NotebookLM to search for the reply. See Use instances for AI: Distill wanted updates from bug threads. It labored all proper, however I bumped into a number of issues:

  • Some knowledge is likely to be too confidential so as to add into the AI instrument, thus limiting the scope.
  • Some knowledge accommodates various approaches thought of however not carried out, which might confuse the AI.
  • There’s all the time a hallucination issue that makes it troublesome to belief the AI’s response with out verifying it. That verification requires studying by the supply materials to verify the reply, which negates a number of the time financial savings.

In distinction to different CEOs who changed employees with AI, Twilio says, “We’re not lowering these roles, as a result of with the time saved these groups can handle extra RFPs and spend extra time interacting with and serving to extra clients than earlier than…” With this saved time, one worker says he “goals of specializing in the extra complicated and rewarding work of fixing gross sales prospects’ issues, whereas bots swap details about consumers’ priorities and distributors’ capabilities.”

What are the extra complicated and rewarding duties you’ll deal with with respect to documentation when you now not needed to spend time looking out, gathering, and curating the solutions?

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I am an API technical author primarily based within the Seattle space. On this weblog, I write about subjects associated to technical writing and communication — corresponding to software program documentation, API documentation, AI, info structure, content material technique, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and extra. Try my API documentation course when you’re on the lookout for extra data about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course part for extra on the newest in AI and tech comm.

In case you’re a technical author and wish to carry on high of the newest tendencies within the tech comm, make sure to subscribe to e mail updates beneath. You can even study extra about me or contact me. Lastly, word that the opinions I categorical on my weblog are my very own factors of view, not that of my employer.



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