Anxious about AI? You are not alone. Here’s what therapists recommend.

With AI systems evolving rapidly, it’s not uncommon to feel anxious about the development of technology and how it affects our work. According to a Forbes advisory survey, 77% of people fear AI will cause job losses in the next year as companies are looking to boost overall productivity.

Even if AI hasn’t been implemented in your workplace, you might feel uneasy about how fast it’s growing, which is right. Artificial intelligence is capable of doing this mimic human functionincluding activities involving perception, reasoning, learning, problem solving and more, all without the use of the human mind. The most common legal and ethical issues of AI they include privacy and surveillance, bias or discrimination, and job automation. As reported by Goldman Sachs, AI is expected to do so replace over 300 million jobs or partially replace two-thirds of the roles.

All of this means that AI can have a psychological impact, depending on whether the technology presents itself as an opportunity or a threat, Mindy Shoss, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Florida, told HuffPost.

As a result, job insecurity can be an extremely stressful experience. “Jobs can be a source of meaning, social connection, identity and stability in one’s life,” Shoss said. “Job insecurity is difficult to deal with because people are unsure of if or when job loss might occur – this can lead to an almost constant state of alertness and anxiety.”

With nearly half of US adults equally worried and excited on implementing AI, including job losses, we asked psychologists for ways you might be able to ease some of your anxiety:

Stay informed about new developments.

It may be difficult to keep up with the rapid advances in AI, especially with the changes already implemented and human AI potentially existing in the next 100 years.

However, using AI to improve performance might be beneficial, Maria Espinolaa licensed clinical psychologist at the Institute for Health Equity and Innovation, told HuffPost.

“Education is power. The more knowledgeable we become about AI, the more prepared we will be to plan for our future in the workforce,” Espinola said. “The reality is that AI will continue to grow, so we need to channel our stress into energy and take action, learn as much possible on AI”.

Learning about AI might have some positives; it could shift tasks and create new opportunities. Despite the displacement, the implementation of AI will create 97 million new jobs, according to the World Economic Forum.

Or you may find that it won’t matter at all for your specific job. “Others realize that AI isn’t as useful in their fields as it initially seemed,” Espinola said. “Either way, knowing the pros and cons of using AI empowers people to make informed decisions about the AI that can benefit both your career and your organization.”

Use it as a catalyst to learn something new.

New templates and applications will continually update along with technology, which could be beneficial depending on your occupation. Additionally, Espinola told HuffPost that a healthy dose of stress can be beneficial in the workplace.

“A certain level of stress can be beneficial, it can give us the energy and motivation we need to make changes,” Espinola said. For example, it can motivate someone to learn a new skill both for their current job and outside of it.

Of course, that might be easier said than done, with a lack of funds to get training, relocation issues, disabilities, and family responsibilities.

“That’s why responsibility shouldn’t be placed solely on individuals,” Espinola said. “Public and institutional policies should be developed to ensure workers can access both mental health care to manage their anxiety symptoms, and programs that enable workers to access the training they need to stay in the workforce.” .

Remember its limitations.

Despite advances in AI technology, there is still question whether machines and systems can emulate human creativity.

“Computers can only do what humans tell them to. They are fast and accurate, but they lack the ability to create and abstract,” said Huimin Lin, a computer scientist and professor at the Institute of Software, in a analysis of computer generated images.

For example, AI may be able to answer questions and solve problems, but lack the power to convey emotion, harness empathy, and create original content. Instead, AI relies on human creativity.

“The goal of computer scientists in developing artificial intelligence is not to create human-like organisms, but to create intelligent tools that obey and assist humans,” said Zhi-Hua Zhou, a professor at the National Key Laboratory for Novel Software Technology from Nanjing University.

In addition to reminding yourself of the limits of AI creativity, incorporating statements about your abilities can help with discomfort.

“For individuals, several studies have found that opportunities to state and reflect on important personal values ​​and characteristics help people feel better equipped to deal with job-related uncertainty,” Shoss said.

If you are a manager, defend the ethical use of AI.

Ethical AI refers to guidelines that people should follow when using technology, including individual rights, privacy, non-discrimination and non-manipulation.

In 2021, New York City passed a law preventing employees and agencies from making employment decisions, such as audits, based on artificial intelligence. In addition, the White House has released algorithmic anti-discrimination protections to ensure that the systems do not violate established laws.

The Center for AI Safety is too discuss the risks of AI, releasing the statement: “Mitigating the extinction risk of AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear warfare.” Signatures of scientists and AI figures follow the statement, constantly abreast of new developments.

Bills or resolutions they were introduced in 17 states in 2022 to create task forces or commissions to study AI, some of which are already underway or pending.

Recognizing that AI technologies can deepen inequalities in the workplace, it is important for companies to distribute equal access to technology. Supervisors should address ethical implementation and challenges that may arise due to potential misuse.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommends that the choice of AI and AI systems among companies be discussed in full transparency. While there are no laws or regulations governing AI in the workplace, organizations can listen to concerns, provide updates, and empower employees to participate in new AI-related developments and decisions.

“I participated in research on employee layoffs that found that actively listening to the supervisor helped employees feel more in control and less anxious about their job security,” Shoss said. “Other research has also found that organizational communication and opportunities to participate in decision-making help employees deal with uncertainty.”

If you are an employee, contact colleagues and resource groups.

Whether AI is starting to be implemented in the workplace or has already been integrated, talking to colleagues can be a first step in staying informed of developments.

“Don’t just defend yourself. Take a look at your peers and others in your field and think about how AI can impact them,” Espinola said. “Then check if they are already doing something about it.”

Depending on whether AI has impacted their roles in the workplace, consider joining their efforts to discuss upcoming changes, what should be expected, and what your job can offer. You can also contact groups that have experience advocacy, such as professional organizations, affinity groups, or employee resource groups.

“For example, you might choose to support public and/or institutional policies that ensure workers can access mental health care and programs that allow workers to access the training they need to stay in the workforce,” Espinola said. .

Overall, focus on what you can control.

In general, taking care of yourself during a time of uncertainty is important. Focus on the things you can control right now, like the work you’re doing, prioritizing your mental health through positive lifestyle habits, and staying on top of any new developments with AI.

Finally, remember that this is only part of your life right now. “Our self-esteem is broader than any job or aspect of our lives,” Shoss said. “Exercises such as reflecting on the things in life that are most important to individuals (eg, family, creativity, humor) and situations where these aspects have been particularly important are critical to individuals.”

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