Generative AI is poised to impact labour markets significantly while enhancing creativity and automating routine tasks for future jobs, a new study paper said on Monday. Releasing the white paper on how AI (artificial intelligence) will affect the jobs of tomorrow, the World Economic Forum said businesses and governments must take proactive steps to prepare for the effects of AI in the workforce, including creating an adaptable workforce and implementing systems that facilitate job transitions. Jobs most at risk of disruption are those that involve routine and repetitive language tasks; jobs with a high degree of personal interaction or physical movement will be least affected, the WEF said. The white paper found that Large Language Models (LLMs) could be a boon for jobs that require critical thinking, complex problem-solving skills and creativity, including those in engineering, mathematics and scientific analysis. LLMs are deep learning algorithms that can perform a variety of natural language processing tasks. They use transformer models and are trained using large massive datasets.
These tools could benefit workers by increasing the productivity of routine tasks and making their roles more rewarding and focused on a higher added value, the WEF said. According to the WEF analysis, which examined more than 19,000 distinct tasks across 867 different occupations likely to be impacted by LLMs, the industries with the highest estimates of overall potential exposure – both in automation and augmentation – are financial services and capital markets, along with insurance and pension management. As LLMs advance, new roles will also be created, including AI developers, interface and interaction designers, AI content creators, data curators and specialists in AI ethics and governance. The jobs most at risk of automation – with up to four-fifths of the tasks automated – are those that involve routine and repetitive language tasks, including roles such as credit authorisers, checkers and clerks. The occupations projected to remain relatively unaltered include education, guidance, career counsellors and advisers, with 84 per cent of their tasks having a low exposure to change.
The study comes amid recent advancements in these tools, like GitHub’s Copilot, Midjourney and ChatGPT, expected to cause significant shifts in global economies and labour markets. These particular technological advancements coincide with a period of considerable labour market upheaval from economic, geopolitical, green transition and technological forces. A recent WEF study predicted that 23 per cent of global jobs will change in the next five years due to industry transformation, including through artificial intelligence and other text, image and voice processing technologies. “Generative AI is poised to impact labour markets significantly, but this impact will be highly different across different roles,” WEF Managing Director Saadia Zahidi said. “Business leaders, policy-makers and employees must collaborate on harnessing the potential of new jobs while managing displacement and ensuring a future of work that empowers and elevates people,” she added. The WEF paper argued that businesses and governments must take proactive steps to prepare for the effects of LLMs in the workforce, including by improving foresight, creating an adaptable workforce, implementing systems that facilitate job transitions and encouraging lifelong learning.