AI Impact on Jobs: Study Suggests Changes in Work Quality Rather than Destruction
A recent study conducted by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) has shed light on the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on jobs. Contrary to popular fears of widespread job destruction, the study reveals that most jobs and industries will only be partially exposed to automation.
According to the ILO, AI is more likely to accompany certain activities rather than replace them entirely. The first consequence of this technological advancement is expected to be changes in job quality, such as work intensity and autonomy, rather than complete job displacement.
The study identifies variations in the effects of AI across different occupations and areas, with women being more likely to see their work affected than men. Office-based administrative work is considered the category most exposed to AI technologies, with nearly a quarter of tasks being highly exposed and over half having a moderate level of exposure.
On the other hand, only a small percentage of managerial and technical jobs will be impacted by AI, while around a quarter of such positions have an average level of exposure, as per the ILO.
Interestingly, high-income countries are projected to experience the greatest effects of automation due to the higher proportion of clerical jobs. The report indicates that 5.5% of total employment in high-income countries could potentially be exposed to the automation effects of generative AI, compared to just 0.4% in low-income countries.
Furthermore, the study highlights the overrepresentation of women in clerical work, particularly in high- and middle-income countries, which leads to a higher share of employment potentially affected by automation for women compared to men.
Despite these disparities, the study suggests that the potential number of jobs created by AI is relatively consistent across all countries. This implies that developing countries could benefit significantly from this new wave of technological transformation with the right policies in place, according to the ILO.
To ensure a smooth transition, countries will need to implement policies that support orderly, equitable, and consultative change, assert the authors of the study.
In conclusion, the study provides insights into the potential impact of AI on jobs, indicating that rather than complete destruction, the main effects will be changes in job quality. It emphasizes the need for countries to develop appropriate policies to facilitate a smooth transition and harness the benefits of AI while minimizing any negative consequences. By implementing the right strategies, this new era of technological advancement could offer significant advantages to both developed and developing nations alike.