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We're Officially In the Artificial Intelligence Goldrush

Profiting Ethically from the Next Tech Innovation: Lessons from History

By Olivia L. DobbsPublished 29 days ago 7 min read
We're Officially In the Artificial Intelligence Goldrush
Photo by Ross Sokolovski on Unsplash

The Pandora’s Box which is artificial intelligence has already been opened. Its effects are already visible, rippling throughout our media, our political landscape, and perhaps even your home. Change is already upon us and, if we strategically adapt with it, AI has the potential to be a remarkable benefit to society and the individuals who adopt it.

Even before this mass adaptation, folks, namely the early adopters, are going to flock to AI, hoping to use it to create products and “get rich quick” while the concept is novel. With such little regulation and such potential for efficiency, there’s a real chance that some of these adopters will be able to use AI to make a livelihood for themselves.

Like most innovations, the backlash that we’re seeing today will inevitably subside. It will also likely become increasingly common for its use in careers without stigma. If one gets in early enough with enough considerations for the ethics around it, they’ll have an incredible advantage in efficiency. Discover below how you can stake your claim on AI productivity - by drawing inspiration from an unlikely source: Miner 49’ers.

Learning from The Mistakes of the Gold Rush

When folks heard of great riches off to the West in the late 1840s, people from all over the world traveled in droves to the golden lands of the West Coast. Over 300,000 people ended up in California alone, resulting in a rapid reinvigoration of the American Economy and a massive displacement of native peoples.

The industry in this location was wholly new and the land was unregulated by the U.S. government, leading to a sort of “free for the taking” mentality. As the resources dwindled and lakes and rivers crowded more and more, however, the miners collaborated on regulation efforts, establishing a code faster than the United States government was able to.

Despite the hype that swept the nation, only a small few made their fortune from mining gold. There were simply so many folks searching for such a rare resource that most were only left with a small bit of the fortune if that. Those that made the fortunes arrived early - before the hype and news spread. After the initial wave of successes, the small instances of mining success and fortune were mostly luck.

But, most notably, the folks that made the most money weren’t the miners themselves. It was the industries that arose to support the miners that gained the most capital. The businesses that produced tools for mining, sold food and items to miners, and performed services for miners were the true winners. Necessities and the comforts of the more “civilized” Eastern United States were literally worth more than gold to the miners. When the rush ended, the real victors were the businesses that were set up to support the rushers. The services, the loan officers, and the supply shops performed better than anyone else!

Making Predictions by Applying Gold Rush Revelations to the AI Rush

If you’ve been keeping up with the news on Artificial Intelligence, much of the information above may feel eerily similar. The rush of individuals and industries to use AI for their benefit, the lack of regulation regarding AI databases and the use of AI, and even the companies beginning to sell AI tools make for uncanny similarities. And, according to Statista, the trend of the AI market is only going to increase.

If we take the lessons learned from the past, this century’s rush might go a bit better than last. Here’s what we can predict if history does indeed repeat itself here.

It’s somewhat likely that some people are going to successfully make a fortune by using AI to produce content. Those pioneers and innovators who master prompt writing and communication with AI and AI tools have a chance to figure out a formula that works. But the collection of these successful folks will be small.

The vast majority won’t have as great of success. Like miners before us, most prompt engineers will only likely *at best* make enough to survive. A good proportion won’t even be able to make that.

And, like the indigenous peoples who were displaced by the influx of mining settlers, we can unfortunately predict that this new rush will also displace people. AI is already responsible for job loss and we will likely see that increase as time goes on.

But the biggest profits will come from folks who find ways to sell to this new market of AI content producers and prompt engineers, not the engineers themselves. We’re already seeing this with the development of hardware by companies like IBM. There’s also already a large influx of AI detection software being developed, along with courses, certifications, and more. The market is already open.

How You Can Make a Living Off the AI Rush

Strike Early

If the idea of getting in front of the innovations and pioneering ways to profit from AI excites you, There’s no better time than the present to begin learning. The earlier you establish methodology, learn the tools, and hone your skills, the more likely you’ll end up being part of the small collection of folks who find success in AI use. The chances will be slim, however. This method of profit will be volatile and risky. To succeed, you’ll need to embody as-soon-as-possible thinking (It’s called a rush for a reason).

Pan for Content

Perhaps AI generation will be a career that feels more traditionally ‘easy’ than those of the past (And I’m certain this will become a future complaint by those that resist innovation) but it will require a copious amount of time spent, lessons learned, and competitive action to come out on top. Like the panning of 1800s miners, AI content generation will require skills and a lot of time. Start learning soon, and start practicing often.

Prospect Needs

The truly best (and most long-lasting and sustainable) way to profit from the impending AI revolution is to anticipate the future needs that will arise from such new careers and activities. Start thinking about it right now: what services, items, and tools might prompt engineers need or want?

If this interests you more than ‘prospecting’, now’s the best time to start learning everything that you can about artificial intelligence, engineering, product design, and marketing. The sooner you anticipate the needs of this future technological revolution, the better your chances of success in entrepreneurship.

When the general public catches wind of the potential profits involved in AI, your market will inevitably grow and, if you’ve already established credibility with early adopters, you’ll see incredible success as the fad grows in popularity. A huge niche is about to appear.

Above All Else, Be Ethical

Society has advanced greatly since the California Gold Rush. We’ve collectively learned to be more empathetic and care more about the consequences of our actions. In implementing AI, we must be conscious of upholding these practices, as, if we do not tread carefully, AI can cause more harm to communities and individuals than it can benefit the collective.

The new tools we’re about to see will be fascinating and even incredibly useful - but we must do all that we can to only use them ethically.

AI’s Pandora’s Box of artificial intelligence has been opened, undeniably. Though the effects are still developing, AI most certainly possesses the potential to become an extraordinary asset to society and to those who embrace it.

Now is the time to act and to join the ranks of early adopters. History has shown that initial skepticism in innovations such as these wanes over time. AI is no exception, and it is likely that its utilization in various careers will become increasingly common without the associated stigma. But that doesn’t negate the valid concerns of artists and content producers. Those who seize the opportunity early will gain a remarkable advantage in terms of efficiency and innovation - but those who make the attempt must do all that they can to do so without harming others.

Be inspired by the miners of yesteryear and adapt to changing times. But learn from their mistakes too.

techopinionhumanityfutureartificial intelligence

About the Creator

Olivia L. Dobbs

Science Enthusiast, Naturalist, Dreamer.

Check out my science! -> bit.ly/DobbsEtAl

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