Experts from the International Labour Organization (ILO) have released a report stating that the use of Generative AI, specifically Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (ChatGPT), will not replace jobs but rather enhance them. The study, which provides a global analysis of the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on occupations and tasks, suggests that AI technology will automate some tasks within jobs rather than completely taking them over.
ChatGPT, a chatbot that generates text in response to prompts, has sparked worldwide discussions about the benefits and drawbacks of AI since its launch in November. It is currently being used by companies and the general public for various purposes such as managing workflows, answering queries, writing code, composing essays, planning vacations, and creating personalized content for social media.
The ILO report reveals that clerical work is the job category with the highest exposure to ChatGPT. However, in other occupational groups like managers, professionals, and technicians, only a small portion of tasks are at risk of redundancy. This suggests that the technology is more likely to augment work by automating some tasks within occupations, while leaving time for other responsibilities, rather than fully automating entire jobs.
The report also highlights notable differences in the potential impact of AI on countries at different levels of development. In richer countries, around 5.5% of total employment is potentially exposed to the automating effects of Generative AI, while the risk is only approximately 0.4% in low-income countries. The authors suggest that with the right policies, Generative AI could offer significant benefits for developing nations.
However, the report cautions that the potential effects of AI are likely to differ significantly for men and women. Due to women’s over-representation in clerical work, particularly in high and middle-income countries, more than twice the share of female employment is potentially affected by automation. This could mean that certain clerical jobs may never emerge in lower-income countries as the use of Generative AI becomes more widespread.
Nevertheless, the authors emphasize that the socioeconomic impacts of Generative AI will depend on how it is adopted and rolled out. They stress the need for policies that support an orderly, fair, and consultative transition, with a focus on workers’ opinions, skills training, and adequate social protection. The report concludes that humans are ultimately responsible for incorporating such technologies and guiding the transition process.
In summary, the ILO report suggests that while Generative AI technology like ChatGPT has the potential to augment jobs by automating certain tasks, it is unlikely to completely replace occupations. The report underscores the importance of proactive policy design to ensure a smooth and fair transition, and highlights the need for human involvement in guiding the adoption of AI technologies.