AI and Job Transformation

We wrote about our personal story and stance on using Artificial Intelligence tools in our first post in this series on AI. Today we’ll talk about and explain our view on one of the main complaints.
We can sense that the biggest concern out there is that AI use leads to job losses. Economies have been under strain for decades, inflation is barely under control for most countries, outsourcing and globalisation has been an ongoing concern for decades. It’s not surprising that there are concerns that a new technology like AI can break the camel’s back and cause massive upheaval through job destruction in an already fragile world. And of course people care about retaining their own revenue streams and feeding their families. These are valid concerns and we are glad to see people investing energy into this issue. We believe any approach to a solution should stem from understanding and not emotional or kneejerk reactions.
We were also terrified when the latest AI image generation tools started maturing a few months ago! Even though we are hugely optimistic about technology, always early adopters, and we were expecting AI to come out this decade. And yet, when you suddenly see that the AI is better than you in so many ways, it hits hard, really hard. We let the emotional response wash over us and die down and then we moved to understanding and adopting the new tools.
There’s no quick or simple answer for this massive subject of job destruction, so to anyone looking for one-liner solutions, this post is not for you. If you want to understand how we think however, please read on, we kept it as brief as we could.
We try to explain why AI adoption is just the latest transformation of humanity, in a long chain of continuous change for society. We talk about some of the latest similar transformative technologies and how they played out and then explore how we see change happening right now and in the very near future with some examples we find very intriguing.

Job Transformation: Destruction and Creation

Chances are that your job did not exist 100 years ago, maybe even not 50 years ago, and if you are an influencer or a youtuber not even 20 years ago. Humanity invents new ways of changing the world, generating value, and improving our lives. Better ways displace the older ways. We continuously streamline and eventually automate menial tasks. This process is extremely hard to predict as true paradigm shifts and innovation are involved. Our history is full of examples but let’s start with the advent of the modern era.
In the late 1800s, with the invention of the internal combustion gasoline engine, the “horseless carriage” (we call them cars these days 😄) completely disrupted and replaced horses and other draft animals. Here’s a quick list of some of the jobs that massively shrunk in number or completely disappeared within 20 to 50 years of the introduction of massed produced automobiles: farriers, horse-drawn cab drivers, stable hands and grooms, horse dung street cleaners (fun fact New York in 1900 dealt with 2.5 million pounds or 1100 tons of horse dung per day), horse trainers, horse merchants, wagoners, stable keepers, draft animal veterinarians, harness makers, wagon makers and wheelwrights.
The adoption of the automobile led to massive increases in quality of life for humanity on aggregate and expanded the jobs available, but we are sure it did not feel that rosy to all the people who saw their horse-related jobs being replaced by soulless machines. It must have been hard and a lot of personal suffering was involved. Yet we don’t believe that anyone today can say “the automobile was a mistake, we should have stayed with the horses”. New and better ways to pull heavy loads were invented and of course replaced the old ways.
Along with the above, farming became less labour intensive due to tractors and other innovations and industrialising nations moved from around 40%-60% of the population working on agriculture in 1900, to 10%-20% of the population in the 1950s, to 1%-5% today. Extraordinary job destruction that no one can complain about. Back breaking work in the field is just not very popular when there are alternatives.
The adoption of the automobile naturally created its own ecosystem of new jobs that did not exist before, far outpacing the jobs destroyed. Automobile manufacturing and maintenance, automobile design, tire manufacturing, gas distribution (including gas stations), road construction and maintenance, automobile sales and rental, driving instruction, parking services, car wash services, urban transportation planning. These industries and many more did not exist before 1900.
At around the same period, the general belief was that flight was impossible, unique to the kingdom of birds and insects. Then within a generation you could be a pilot, an aeronautical engineer, a flight attendant, an aircraft mechanic or technician, an air traffic controller, an aviation meteorologist.
These events above are not that far in the past, our grand parents or great grand parents lived through all these monumental changes. More recently, anyone above 40 years old today has grown up in the personal computer revolution which destroyed plenty of jobs but created many more. Anyone above 30 grew up in the age of the internet that brought monumental changes across industries and led to the birth of innumerable new job types. Anyone above 20 years old has grown up in the age of e-commerce, with all the job changes this brought to retail and shopping.
You are reading these words right now on your mobile phone, at home, waiting for Ubereats to deliver your lunch, during your afternoon break from your remote Network Administration job, while a YouTube video is playing in the background because humanity chose to adopt all of the above technologies.
In retrospect, all these past adoptions where inevitable, despite the pushback for each and every one of them when they were introduced. Why is this time, with the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, different? We flatly claim that it is not different.
We understand that the pace of technological change accelerates and AI developments will move faster than the previous ones, change will come in years, not decades. But this is also the pattern of technological change: the next technology builds on the capabilities of the previous ones and that causes acceleration.
We have faith in humanity as a whole, we’ve done “massive change” before, and we can do it again. Life will improve massively on aggregate due to AI technologies in the coming decade. There will be new jobs we haven’t even imagined. There will be pain and upheaval, as always, but the only way is forward, we can’t stay still or move backwards.

AI as Transformation Today

Enough with the past though, let’s talk about here and now.
Publicly available AI tools right now are in a pre-alpha, wonky phase but they have been released to the public because the developers recognised how powerful they are. After personally using many of these tools for a few months we can confidently say that there’s the potential for AI to complete many individual job tasks at a low to medium skill level, not quite expert level yet.
Focusing on the now and immediate future (let’s say next two years), we believe that AI tools can be used to competently complete tasks in many professions like the below:
  • Artist
  • Designer
  • Photographer
  • Translator
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Data analyst
  • Research Assistant (for many subjects e.g. science, legal, clinical, etc.)
  • Programmer
  • Project Manager
Now that these tasks are possible by software the thought arises that businesses will soon just reduce their workforce and use software instead: cheaper, more predictable, does not unionise nor ask for raises.
There are far more appealing paths for any business owner though and even more intriguing novel paths for small teams and individuals.

Examples of Transformation for Teams Today

You lead a small marketing agency today. Do you fire your designer, photographer, web developer, and copywriter and let one person do all these things with the help of AI or do you implement AI in your workflows for each team member so you can serve more customers at a higher standard? Very easy choice for anyone with passion for marketing.
You are an attorney serving your local community. Do you fire two of the three paralegals because just one person can do the same work with AI tools? Or do you set up your small team of three to use AI tools and so serve more clients better and at a lower cost? Easy choice, whether you took up law to help others or for the money.
You lead a small game development studio. Do you fire half your artists and programmers and make the same game you were planning with AI assistance? Or do you keep the whole team, implement AI tools across the company, and make your game x10 better and x2 times bigger? Such an easy choice for any creator.
Notice that the second option, implementing AI with your current team, is the more productive and more lucrative option. We firmly believe that most people will take the second option leading to massive increases in productivity and quality. Early adoption statistics are showing this to be the case.
Humanity has always used technology to do more, to automate menial tasks, to maximise output. There’s no reason to believe that we will do otherwise with this new technology.

Examples of Transformation for Solo Creators Today

We believe that small teams that implement AI will transform into powerful positive forces in the coming years. But things get even more interesting for independent creators.
You are an independent photographer and you are toying with the new AI generative image tools. Here’s some things you can do right now.
  • You can use AI in the conceptualisation phase to offer your clients exceptional mockups of the final photoshoot. Every appealing style possibility can be explored and illustrated to the client’s needs. There is no mood board anymore, instead you present photoshoot mockups that are 80% close to the final shoot. By the day of the shoot, everyone knows exactly what the target is, saving everyone time and money.
  • You can use AI to generate variations of shoots with different camera lenses, films, and light setups, experimenting rapidly before picking up the camera.
  • You can train an AI model in your specific photography style so that your generated mockups are even closer to the final product. The AI becomes your assistant photographer that can test shoot your wild ideas at no cost. Then you can pick up the camera with more confidence for the IRL shoot.
You are a solo game developer, crafting every aspect of your games alone.
  • You can use AI coding assistants to quickly write basic menial code that took much of your time before. The assistants can also bug hunt for you and proof read your code, immediately finding typos that would have taken time and energy to solve.
  • You can use the same AI as a tutor for every aspect of game development and any software that you need to use.
  • You can also get AI tutoring on any fields of knowledge that you will need to dip your toes in for game development, from weather systems, to the history of any location, to ballista ballistics. Your knowledge acquisition can be accelerated with reduced frustration.
  • You can now have an AI concept artist to explore styles and designs for your game art. With enough effort you can also have an AI artist that will create final game assets for you.

The Bottom Line

Humanity is about transformation, about moving forward, shaping the world, improving our lives. There’s an endless string of innovations behind us by our ancestors, taking humanity from hiding in caves to riding on rockets among the stars. Artificial Intelligence is one of our latest, arguably our greatest, achievements. AI will change the world, it will change how we work, and what we work on. It’s hard to predict how the world will change but we can predict with certainty that AI will be implemented across every aspect of human life and the world will change rapidly.
We want to take part in this transformation and will be using AI technologies to the best of our ability and as kindly as we can. Maybe our own jobs will become obsolete or maybe they will transform into something new and better, creating more value for those around us. We cannot be sure what the future holds but we are in for the ride.
With love and optimism,
Michael and Eloise
Founders and Directors at Rogue + Wolf
P.S. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, we read them all and will reply to the most widespread concerns in future posts.
P.P.S. No, GPT did not write this post or the previous. 😄


  • Diane

    You have just lost another customer. I have committed to buying from companies who use real artists. Now I understand why your images all have similar looks, no creativity. Obviously you are not real artists or you would understand why.

  • Void

    It is very clear to your long-term customers (such as myself) that have been shopping with you since you only had jewelry designs, mean nothing to you.
    We are adamantly against this use of AI technology and have been very loud about it and you continue to not care.
    Please remove “ethical” from your website and social media profiles. The current way AI technology works is NOT ethical no matter how you slice or try to justify it.

  • Sarah

    The fact that you talk so much about productivity and business, and nothing about artistic expression or developing skills, partnered with the fact your products are just generic ‘goth’ designs plastered on any old tat, says it all really.

    If you think that AI image gen could make better pictures than you could take, why not work on developing your photography skills?

    Ultimately, it’s clear that you have no real interest or passion or love for the products you create. Its just numbers and you only care about making the numbers go up.

  • Becca

    The bottom line is your customers don’t like it. It creates a disconnect between your fanbase and your products. We want to see them on real people that look like us, not on unrealistic looking robots. You are further perpetuating unhealthy and unrealistic beauty standards. Your stance on the use of AI resembles a lazy college student writing an essay completely composed of filler. Listen to your customers, or you will loose them.

  • Em

    You know, at the end of the day isn’t the point to create compelling imagery? Whatever you’re doing isn’t that.

    All this talk of newness, innovation, justifying your use of it, etc and what comes of it? The most mid, soulless images I’ve ever seen. Even if I didn’t care about how you got from A to B, these images are aesthetically poor.

    The irony of going off about new technologies when they don’t show real garments on real bodies and that’s what we had before photography. We had illustrated fashion plates. At least those were beautifully drawn by humans.

    Adapting new technology is an artist switching from pen and ink to digital. Pivoting is moving from commercial advertising illustration to doing illustrations for books. Artists have always been creative and industrious and we find our way.

    But AI imagery is not the future. It is the end.

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