I Asked 39 Experts What They Thought About AI Side Hustles. Here’s What They Said

There's a lot of hype around AI side hustles and their potential for making extra money. Experts expressed optimism, but cautioned against falling for scams.

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping industries faster than we ever could have imagined, the allure of AI side hustles is undeniable.

Tempting headlines tout AI as a shortcut to financial independence, sparking curiosity and skepticism alike.

To separate fact from fiction, I reached out to 39 experts in various fields, from tech innovators to financial analysts, to gauge their opinions on the potential (and pitfalls) of AI-assisted side hustles.

Their insights reveal a nuanced landscape, where the promise of AI is already meeting practical limitations.

The Promise of AI in Side Hustles

Artificial intelligence offers enticing opportunities for those looking to diversify their income streams. Experts seem to agree that AI’s primary advantage lies in its ability to enhance the efficiency and productivity of existing side hustles rather than create entirely new ones. 

Vance Tran, co-founder of Pointer Clicker, discussed the transformative power of AI in content creation: “AI writing tools and language models…are incredibly powerful for tasks like drafting articles, ad copy, emails, and more with just a few prompts. Entrepreneurs have already built six-figure businesses using AI tools [like ChatGPT and Jasper],” he noted.

prompt engineers found on upwork
Freelance copywriters are using AI tools like Jasper and Surfer SEO to create content at scale. 📷 Upwork

A quick look at popular freelance platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.com affirms his take. Thousands of guns for hire are building on their prompt engineering skills and using them to create content — often at scale — for just about any business that needs it. The proof is in the pudding, with one writer on the platform I saw already eclipsing $4 million in total earnings. 

Vlad Khorkhorov, CEO of WebsitePolicies.com, agreed and emphasized the practical application of AI in optimizing mundane tasks.

“AI algorithms can generate written content quickly and at scale, enabling content creators to produce a higher volume of output in less time,” shared Khorkhorov.

“These examples paint a picture of AI as a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can significantly enhance the productivity and scope of existing side hustles, but not necessarily something that is creating entirely new income streams altogether.”

Related: We Asked Over 1,000 Everyday People About AI. Here’s What They Said.

Yiannis Zourmpanos, financial consultant and senior contributor at Bountii, additionally shared an interesting use case where AI was being used to help generate significant income.

“One of my clients, without any special training in data science, leveraged an AI program called Datamite to analyze vast amounts of market data,” Zourmpanos explained. 

“The tool simplifies the process of sifting through complex datasets, pinpointing crucial trends and actionable insights, which she then applies in her work for a marketing firm.” Insights gleaned from the AI-driven analysis helped the marketing firm to refine their campaigns, significantly improving the return on ad spend (ROAS) for their clients by tailoring strategies more effectively to target audiences.

The financial benefit of this AI application is notable: “She’s making $8,000 a month in just a few hours of her free time,” he highlights. This case not only demonstrates the potential monetary gains from using AI but also highlights the improved work-life balance it can facilitate.

Hype vs. Reality

While some AI side hustles show potential, it’s crucial to temper expectations with a healthy dose of reality. Many experts warn against getting swept up in the fervor of sensational headlines that promise easy money with little to no effort. 

Question Quick Profits

David Ciccarelli, CEO of Voices.com, stresses the limitations of AI even when it comes to more obvious use cases like content creation: “AI-written website content lacks the depth, knowledge, and experience that only humans possess. While AI can help speed up the process, it cannot replace the nuanced contributions of people.”

Tech giants like Google quite clearly agree. They’ve recently announced they’re taking steps to eliminate pure AI content — specifically content they find to be “unhelpful or unoriginal.” 

Sean Spittle, lead software developer and Managing Partner at InspectNTrack, echoed the same sentiment, and voiced his skepticism about AI trading bots and other frequently advertised get-rich-quick schemes.

“These ‘get rich quick’ schemes that promise the world with AI trading bots or similar products are often just scams. Nine times out of ten, they’re looking to take your money,” he warned.

Spittle highlighted the importance of staying engaged and not expecting AI to do all the work: “AI is a tool, not a magic wand. It requires human oversight to truly be effective.”

Navigating Market Saturation

The ease of access to AI tools has led to a significant increase in content production, which poses its own set of challenges, as noted by Khorkhorov.

“The proliferation of AI-powered content creation tools has led to an overabundance of content, making it increasingly difficult for individual creators to stand out in crowded niches or industries. While AI can significantly aid side hustles, it is not a panacea.” 

Focus on your value proposition, what makes you, you, and use AI to address areas that make content creation more efficient, not replace it entirely. 

Navigating AI Side Hustles with Realism in Mind

Looking ahead, it’s reasonable to expect that the continued use of AI will push the boundaries of what we’re already seeing. Consider the fascinating potential in lottery games, a realm where, as demonstrated by Jerry and Marge Selbee, clever analysis of game mechanics can lead to a significant financial windfall.

The Selbees used basic mathematical strategies to identify favorable odds and beat specific lottery games over the last two decades, turning a hobby into a $26 million enterprise.

Inspired by such examples, Liam Wilson, Editor-in-Chief of Lottery ‘n Go, suggests that AI-assisted statistical modeling could similarly identify non-obvious numerical relationships that elude human pattern recognition, potentially allowing people to optimize strategies for legally exploiting lottery games.

And while some opportunities, such as AI-generated voiceovers, photo colorization, and AI-assisted stock music creation, demonstrate legitimate ways to earn extra income short of winning the lottery, it’s important to recognize that much of the surrounding hype is indeed overblown. In reality, AI’s most effective role in side hustles is to scale or streamline existing ventures, not to magically create new wealth out of thin air.

Ben Huber

Hi! I'm Ben. A personal finance nerd on a mission to help DollarSprout readers make and save more money. A quoted contributor for Business Insider, Business.com, Discover, Intuit, MSN, NBC News, Yahoo Finance and more, I work to help others live their financial best life.

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