The latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) could lead to a quarter of all jobs in the euro area and the US being automated.
Goldman Sachs argues that generative AI systems, which can create content that cannot be distinguished from human production, such as ChatGPT, could raise the annual global GDP by 7% in ten years, according to the Financial Times.
Major disruptions in the job market
If the technology lives up to its promise, however, it would cause significant disruptions in the job market, and the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs in major economies could be automated.
According to Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani, authors of the investment bank Goldman Sachs’ study, lawyers and administrative staff are the occupational groups most at risk of becoming redundant.
They estimate that around two-thirds of all jobs in Europe and the US are exposed to some form of automation.
Around 30% are not affected
For most people, less than half of their work would be automated, and they would likely continue to work in their jobs. Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani have calculated that this should apply to 63% of the US workforce.
Approximately 30% of those who work in physical or outdoor jobs would not be affected, even though their jobs could also be affected by other forms of automation.
A fifth of the world’s jobs
In the US, about 7 percent of the workforce is employed in jobs where at least half of their tasks can be done by generative AI. According to Goldman Sachs, their research points to similar figures in Europe.
As manual labor is more common in developing countries, one fifth of jobs globally could be done by AI, which means around 300 million full-time jobs.
More conservative estimates
Goldman Sachs’ estimates are based on an analysis of European and American data on tasks typically performed within various professions.
The researchers assumed that AI could perform tasks such as filling out tax returns for small businesses, evaluating complex insurance claims, and documenting the results of a crime scene investigation.
They did not assume that AI could perform sensitive tasks such as judging in a trial, checking the status of a critically ill patient, or assessing international tax laws.
Goldman Sachs’ estimates of AI’s impact on the job market are more conservative than those from some academic studies that include effects on more types of technology.
Can be used by criminals
Last week, Open AI, which created GPT4, published an article finding that for 80 percent of the US workforce, at least 10 percent of their tasks could be performed by generative AI. Their figures were based on analysis by human researchers and the company’s large language model, LLM.
This week, Europol also warned about the rapid progress of generative AI, saying that it can help online fraudsters and cybercriminals and that “dark LLM” could become the key model for criminal activity in the future.