Individuals holding Bachelor’s, Master’s, and professional degrees are more at risk of losing their jobs to AI than those without formal educational credentials (Picture: Getty Images)
With viral chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT acing tests, many of us have been questioning how safe our jobs are from artificial intelligence.
A new study has revealed that approximately 80% of the US workforce could have at least 10% of their work tasks affected while around 19% of workers may see at least 50% of their tasks impacted by the introduction of AI tools like ChatGPT.
The research in collaboration with ChatGPT-creator, OpenAI and the University of Pennsylvania looked at the impact of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT on the labour market.
Researchers based their results based on ‘exposure’ as a measure of how access to a GPT would reduce the time required for a human to perform a specific task or complete a task by at least 50 per cent.
According to the study, the new technology is expected to influence all wage levels, with higher-income jobs potentially facing a greater risk of replacement.
Individuals holding Bachelor’s, Master’s, and professional degrees are more at risk of losing their jobs to AI than those without formal educational credentials.
‘In other words, workers facing higher barriers to entry in their jobs tend to experience more exposure to LLMs,’ said the researchers.
Industries that involved more information processing were more likely to be able to offload tasks to AI, while manufacturing, agriculture, and mining were less likely to do so.
Occupations at risk from ChatGPT:
Accountants and Auditors
Writers and Authors
Web and Digital Interface Designers
Proofreaders and Copy Markers
Financial Quantitative Analysts
Interpreters and Translators
Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers
Public Relations Specialists
Labour-intensive jobs like auto mechanics, carpenters, painters and plumbers were deemed safer from AI. Athletes and sports competitors also needn’t worry about being replaced.
Hospitality workers like cooks, dishwashers, bartenders and cafeteria attendants were also relatively safe from their jobs being taken over by ChatGPT. However, these jobs do run the risk of being automated with robots.
LLMs like ChatGPT are only a fraction of what LLMs can do. In its current form, studies suggest that only 3% of US workers have over half of their tasks exposed to GPT.
At their full potential, LLMs can process and produce various forms of sequential data, including assembly language, protein sequences and chess games.
So, the technology can cause notable economic, social, and policy implications, according to researchers.
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Still, the study admitted the limitations of its predictions as it was based on current trends, evidence, and perceptions of technological possibilities.
‘Some tasks that seem unlikely for LLMs to impact today might change with the introduction of new model capabilities. Conversely, tasks that appear exposed might face unforeseen challenges limiting language model applications,’ said researchers.
However, LLMs could fall short when tasks could require running meetings or negotiations. Tasks where there is currently some regulation that requires human oversight like making decisions and counselling would be hard to replace with AI.
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Higher-income jobs potentially face a greater risk.