The emergence of ChatGPT has led to the loss of certain jobs, causing noticeable effects on individuals who depended on positions such as copywriters, ghostwriters, and freelance gigs to sustain their households.
The latest example in this is the story of Sharanya Bhattacharya, a 22-year-old resident of Kolkata. In an exclusive chat with New York Post, Bhattacharya shared her ordeal.
Sharanya Bhattacharya Shares Her Dilemma
Previously engaged as a copywriter and ghostwriter for a creative agency alongside her studies, Bhattacharya's life took a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn and went through a profound transformation due to ChatGPT. Her writing tasks have notably dwindled, and her employer has not supplied any rationale for the decline in workload.
According to a report by the New York Post, not too far in the past, Bhattacharya conscientiously produced SEO-optimized articles on a weekly basis, generating a modest monthly income of slightly more than Rs 20,000. She relied on this income to sustain both herself and her mother, Bandana, who sold sarees to cover their needs.
In late 2022, the pace at which Bhattacharya received assignments began declining swiftly, causing her output to drop from multiple pieces each week to merely one or two per month. She suspected that the rise of ChatGPT was the cause of the change.
Effects On The Family
The consequences of this shift were profound, affecting not only Bhattacharya but also her family in a distressing manner. Her earnings, which had previously provided their livelihood, plummeted by an astonishing 90 percent.
Overnight, they found themselves confronting the harsh truth of a significant financial burden, with the previously enjoyed luxuries now out of reach. Bhattacharya remarked, "We've had to keep track of our food intake, and activities we once took pleasure in, such as dining out, have become infrequent – now limited to once every few months. We've redirected our finances towards essentials like food, ensuring our basic well-being."
Far-Fetching Effects On Mental Health
The student expressed that her current situation is marked by significant uncertainty due to the looming possibility of job loss. In the NYP report, Bhattacharya disclosed, 'This is my source of income as I pursue my studies. It is truly disheartening that the amount of work has decreased over time.' She further shared, 'I've been grappling with anxiety, a sense of being adrift, and have even been experiencing panic attacks; the past couple of months have been quite challenging for me."
Despite the challenges she faces, Bhattacharya maintains an optimistic outlook for a future where AI and humans can collaborate harmoniously. She holds the belief that while AI can aid in tasks that consume time, it cannot fully replicate the distinctive human qualities of creativity, critical thinking, and unique perspectives.
Not The First Incident
In July 2023, a writer and comedian of note lost her employment to artificial intelligence (AI). The freelancer had established herself as a copywriter over the years, generating material for different brands. However, the wave of AI progress started to undermine her means of livelihood.
A significant portion of her clientele, primarily comprising small enterprises, emerging startups, and new brands, chose to adopt AI technology for managing their copywriting demands, enticed by the prospect of reduced expenses. Consequently, the writer's formerly thriving freelance journey started to deteriorate, and came to a halt with no assignments or even a job in the market.
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