In the world of art, writing, and even the way we work, generative AI is taking the world by storm. But a report by investment giant, Goldman Sachs, is claiming that up to 300 million full-time jobs can be affected by ChatGPT-like technology. This “significant disruption” in an already uncertain labor market could have unexpected consequences and is likely one reason why researchers and technology experts have asked for a “pause” in AI development.
Written by Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani, the report claims that around two-thirds of current jobs are currently exposed to AI automation in some form. This is taken from the data from their analysis of occupational tasks in both the United States and Europe which shows how automation could reduce labor needs. It says in part, “If generative AI delivers on its promised capabilities, the labor market could face significant disruption.”
What exactly that disruption means is still up in the air. According to the investment firm, up to 7% of jobs could be entirely replaced by AI with 63% being complemented by AI-powered tools. The remaining 30% would be unaffected. “Although the impact of AI on the labor market is likely to be significant, most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation and are thus more likely to be complemented rather than substituted by AI.”
There is a clear line between white-collar jobs, management positions, and blue-collar jobs. The latter of which is by far less likely to be affected by the advent and spread of artificial intelligence. Examples of positions that are most at risk by AI are legal workers, administrative staff, and elements of human resources. Another study, done by the University of Pennsylvania and New York University also estimated that the legal services industry could be the most likely impacted by AI such as ChatGPT.
Though some are holding out hope that AI won’t act as a great replacer, but instead will help humans work better. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said earlier this year that workers should see AI as a means of enhancing their abilities, not replacing them at the office. Already, AI-powered tools are being used and adapted in a variety of industries at a fast past. From software engineers, to artists, and even gaming, AI is already driving change in multiple industries. Though many positions could be affected, the report also sees the economic benefits of AI-powered tools.
Finally, the report states that “a major advancement with potentially large macroeconomic effects,” which would see an increase in the value of all worldwide goods and services by 7% in ten years. Whichever direction AI goes, it’s clear that there will be a significant impact in the labor market due to generative AI.