AI Set to Augment Jobs Rather Than Erase Them; ILO

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more likely to enhance job roles through task automation, rather than completely replacing them, according to a recent study by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The study, titled ‘Generative AI and Jobs: A global analysis of potential effects on job quantity and quality,’ indicates that most industries will experience partial automation and a greater likelihood of job roles being complemented by the latest Generative AI advancements, such as chatGPT. The study highlights that the major impact of this technology will be on the nature of jobs, specifically in terms of work intensity and autonomy.

CATEGORIES

Clerical work emerges as the most technologically exposed category, with nearly 25% of tasks considered highly vulnerable to automation and over 50% of tasks having medium-level exposure. In contrast, categories like managers, professionals, and technicians display a small portion of highly exposed tasks, with roughly 25% showing medium exposure.

Covering a global perspective, the study underscores varying impacts across countries due to distinct economic structures and existing technological gaps. Approximately 5.5% of employment in high-income countries faces potential automation effects, whereas this risk affects only about 0.4% of employment in low-income countries. However, the potential for job enhancement is nearly uniform across nations, implying that with proper policies in place, developing countries could reap substantial benefits from this new technological wave.

GENDER

Gender disparities are anticipated in the potential effects of Generative AI, with a higher proportion of female employment at risk of automation. This is attributed to the overrepresentation of women in clerical work, particularly in high and middle-income countries. As clerical jobs have historically provided significant employment opportunities for women during economic development, the study suggests that certain clerical positions might not materialize in lower-income countries due to the impact of Generative AI.

SOCIOECONOMIC OUTCOME

The study concludes that the socioeconomic outcomes of Generative AI hinge on effective management of its adoption. It advocates for the formulation of policies that facilitate a well-organized, equitable, and inclusive transition. Workers’ involvement, skill enhancement, and robust social safeguards are deemed crucial for successfully navigating this transition. Failing to address these factors could lead to only a select few prepared countries and market participants benefiting from the potential of this new technology.

The authors emphasize that the trajectory of this technological shift is not predetermined; it’s the decisions made by humans that will shape its incorporation and guide the transition process.”

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