Artificial intelligence tools aren’t just a convenient way to complete homework assignments or edit your selfies and videos.
They could be your next source of income if you take advantage of them, says Matt Higgins, a self-made millionaire, CEO of investment firm RSE Ventures and guest star on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
“AI will be the greatest wealth creator in history, because artificial intelligence doesn’t care where you were born, whether you have money, whether you have a PhD,” Higgins tells CNBC Make It. “It’s going to destroy barriers that have prevented people from moving up the ladder, and pursuing their dream of economic freedom.”
That may seem like a bold prediction, given the limitations of current generative AI tools like ChatGPT or Midjourney — but the AI market is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decade, according to a recent report from PwC. It’s already valued at almost $100 billion, and expected to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
“It’s not that if you don’t jump on it now, you never can,” Higgins says. “It’s that now is the greatest opportunity for you to capitalize on it.”
Here are two ways you can start using AI to make money right now, according to experts — and a third that isn’t ready yet, but might be soon.
If you enjoy writing, graphic design or photo and video editing, AI can help you turn a profit using those skills more efficiently.
“Let’s say you’re a liberal arts college student who may be considering continuing school, or just learning something new. Now would be the time to increase your knowledge about AI,” says Susan Gonzales, founder and CEO of AIandYou, a nonprofit that teaches AI skills to people from marginalized communities.
Today’s generative AI tools can already help you write business plans or create digital artwork. Crucially, you’ll need to proofread and fact-check every word or pixel an AI tool generates, and tweak the language so it sounds less like a robot and more like you.
An AI tool called Jasper, for example, is already helping Kristen Walters create digital products like workbooks, e-books and audiobooks.
Walters, a lawyer turned entrepreneur and publisher, described her process in a recent Medium post: “Let’s say that I have an idea for a digital ‘workbook’ to help self-employed people manage their money better. I would use Jasper’s ‘chat’ feature to come up with an outline for my workbook. I used the prompt: Write an outline for a workbook titled ‘Money Management for Freelancers.'”
Jasper generated the outline in 30 seconds, Walters wrote. She then revised and edited the outline, turning it into a full-blown workbook that she formatted in Canva and sold online.
Some freelance gigs can pay over $100 an hour, CNBC Make It noted in May.
Every small-business owner with internet access should study how AI can help boost their company’s revenue, Gonzales says.
AI tools can “help them improve their business, improve inventory management, analyze customer behavior or gain competitive intelligence,” says Gonzales. “Small businesses can use AI tools to target their marketing and advertising efforts more effectively … They can identify new revenue opportunities.”
Jacqueline DeStefano-Tangorra, CEO and founder of boutique consulting firm Omni Business Intelligence Solutions, told CNBC Make It on Friday that she uses ChatGPT to fill out forms when onboarding new clients.
First, she uploads her existing templates to ChatGPT. Then, she then asks the tool to delete the old client information, and add the new client’s name and agreed-upon terms.
“Now, I have an agreement in their hands in 10 minutes,” she said.
DeStefano-Tangorra also uses ChatGPT to outline meeting agendas to share with her clients, she added.
Don’t upload any confidential information to an AI tool, experts say: It’ll store, analyze and learn from everything you input. Beyond that, feel free to experiment, says Gonzales.
“The wonderful thing is, today, all we have to do is search ‘how to improve my small business with AI tools,'” she says. “The information is out there.”
AI tutoring — or, teaching people how to get the most from generative AI tools — isn’t a high-demand job yet. It will be soon, says Gonzales.
“There are many online learning opportunities to understand how AI works, which then could help [someone] possibly become an AI tutor, or to do some AI training to pass it on to the next generation,” she says.
Several schools, from Harvard University to the University of California, Davis, provide free AI courses ranging from a couple of hours to several weeks of learning algorithms, data analytics and more.
Learning those skills can put you in a good position to take advantage of the “inevitable,” says Higgins.
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
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