Artificial intelligence is all the buzz lately. Generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT can summarize scientific articles for you, debug your faulty code, and write Microsoft Excel formulas at your command. But have you considered how many jobs AI can replace? Goldman Sachs thinks something like 300 million.
According to the investment bank, about 300 million jobs could be lost to AI, signaling that the technology can and will upend work as we know it. Like past technological revolutions, AI can help companies decrease costs by automating specific processes, freeing companies to grow their businesses.
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A global economics research report from Goldman Sachs says that AI could automate 25% of the entire labor market but can automate 46% of tasks in administrative jobs, 44% of legal jobs, and 37% of architecture and engineering professions. Of course, AI is the least threatening to labor-intensive careers like construction (6%), installation and repair (4%), and maintenance (1%).
The study also concludes that 18% of the global workforce could be automated with AI. And in countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Hong Kong, upwards of 28% of the country’s workforce could be automated with AI.
However, the study shows potential for a balanced and mutually beneficial relationship between workers and AI. The study says that occupations that are partly exposed to automation will use their free time to increase their productivity at work.
But if you’re worried about your job being usurped by AI, Goldman Sachs anticipates that displaced workers will become reemployed in jobs that emerge as a direct result of widespread AI adoption. Displaced workers might also see higher levels of labor demand due to nondisplaced workers becoming more productive.
Think about how IT innovations created a demand for software developers and, with an increased income, directly increased the need for education, which created a demand for higher education professionals. It’s a domino effect, but an alarming one nonetheless.
AI’s potential to displace 300 million jobs is a primary concern for workers and tech moguls alike. Notable names in the industry, like Steve Wozniak, Rachel Bronson, and Elon Musk, co-signed an open letter to pause AI experiments. The letter comes out of fear that AI development is moving too quickly for humans and can topple our society as we know it.
In early May, tech giant IBM announced that it plans to replace almost 8,000 jobs with AI, with human resources professionals being the first to go. Many companies within the tech sphere have changed their company goals and slashed jobs as they all scramble to win the AI race.
Amazon and Meta laid off thousands of employees, halted special projects, and discontinued product lines to make way for innovating with AI technology. And the goal isn’t to recreate ChatGPT. These companies are harnessing generative AI to transform advertising and shopping experiences and letting go of employees in the process.
In March, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called for intense AI regulation at the federal level to ensure job, national, and economic security. Generative AI is arguably the most gaming-changing technology humans have created in a long time. And although impressive chatbots lack true intelligence, the technology is reshaping our world every day.