Economists at Goldman Sachs estimate that the new wave of artificial intelligence that has given rise to platforms like ChatGPT could eventually replace as many as 300 million full-time jobs around the globe.
In a report published on Sunday, they projected that 18% of jobs around the world could be automated, with the impact being felt more strongly in developed countries than in developing ones.
That’s in part because the general public views office employees as being in more danger than blue-collar workers. The economists predict the greatest impact on office workers and legal professionals, while industries that rely on the outdoors, such as construction and repair, will feel “little effect.”
The bank believes that in the United States and Europe, roughly two-thirds of current jobs “are exposed to some degree of AI automation,” and that up to a quarter of all work could be done by AI entirely.
The economists predicted that if generative AI “delivers on its promised capabilities, the labor market could face significant disruption.” The chatbot that has taken the world by storm is called ChatGPT, and this word describes the technology that makes it possible.
ChatGPT’s ability to respond to questions and compose articles has already led many companies to reevaluate the roles of their employees.
The newest iteration of the bot’s underlying software, GPT-4, was released this month. The platform’s early adopters have been amazed by its ability to streamline the development process, from sketch to fully functional website in minutes.
The economists at Goldman Sachs predicted that increased use of such AI would result in widespread employment losses. They did, however, point out that traditionally, technological innovation that temporarily reduces employment has ultimately increased it.
Goldman Sachs predicts that widespread adoption of AI will lead to higher labor efficiency and, consequently, a boost of 7% per year to global GDP over the next decade.
“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,” the economists said.
“Most workers are employed in jobs that are partly exposed to AI automation, and after AI adoption, they will probably put at least some of their freed-up capacity toward productive activities that increase output.”
About a quarter to half of the impacted US workforce “can be replaced,” the study’s authors noted.
There may be a labor productivity boom similar to that which followed the introduction of previous general-purpose technologies like the electric motor and personal computer if substantial labor cost savings are combined with the creation of new jobs and an increase in productivity for workers who are not displaced.