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Generative artificial intelligence systems could lead to “significant disruption” in the labor market and affect around 300 million full-time jobs globally, according to new research from Goldman Sachs.
Generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence that is capable of generating text or other content in response to user prompts, has exploded in popularity in recent months following the launch to the public of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The buzzy chatbot quickly went viral with users and appeared to prompt several other tech companies to launch their own AI systems.
Based on an analysis of data on occupational tasks in both the US and Europe, Goldman researchers extrapolated their findings and estimated that generative AI could expose 300 million full-time jobs around the world to automation if it lives up to its promised capabilities.
The report, written by Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani, said that roughly two-thirds of current jobs are exposed to some degree of AI automation while generative AI could substitute up to a quarter of current work.
White-collar workers are some of the most likely to be affected by new AI tools. The Goldman report highlighted US legal workers and administrative staff as particularly at risk from the new tech. An earlier study from researchers at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and New York University, also estimated legal services as the industry most likely to be affected by technology like ChatGPT.
Manav Raj, one of the authors of the study, and an Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, told Insider this was because the legal services industry was made up of a relatively small number of occupations that were already highly exposed to AI automation.
Goldman’s report suggested that if generative AI is widely implemented, it could lead to significant labor cost savings and new job creation. The current hype around AI has already given rise to new roles, including prompt engineers, a job that includes writing text instead of code to test AI chatbots.
The new tech could also boost global labor productivity, with Goldman estimating that AI could even eventually increase annual global GDP by 7%.