Highly skilled occupations are particularly vulnerable and workers express concerns about losing their jobs to AI.
AI is rapidly advancing and making its presence known in various aspects of our lives. From automation in industries to personalized recommendations, AI is taking over tasks once performed by humans. It is revolutionizing sectors such as healthcare, finance, transportation, and entertainment, to name just a few. While AI offers numerous benefits and efficiencies, it also raises concerns about potential job displacement and ethical considerations.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warns that major world economies are on the verge of an AI revolution, potentially leading to job losses. The 2023 Employment Outlook report reveals that over 25% of jobs within the OECD could be susceptible to automation, causing concerns among workers.
The report reveals that jobs with the highest likelihood of automation account for an average of 27% of the labor force in OECD countries, with Eastern European nations being particularly vulnerable. These jobs require over 25 out of 100 skills and abilities that Artificial Intelligence experts consider easily automatable. The OECD, comprising 38 member nations including both affluent countries and emerging economies, stated that while there is limited evidence of AI's substantial influence on employment, this may be due to the early phase of the revolution.
Additionally, a survey conducted by the OECD last year revealed that three out of five workers express concerns about the possibility of losing their jobs to AI within the next decade. The survey encompassed 5300 workers in 2000 firms across seven OECD countries, spanning industries such as manufacturing and finance.
The survey was conducted before the widespread impact of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT. Interestingly, despite the apprehension surrounding AI, two-thirds of workers already utilizing AI in their work reported that automation had made their jobs less risky or difficult. The OECD further emphasized that highly skilled occupations, including those in law, culture, science, engineering, and business, are particularly vulnerable to AI-driven automation. The development of AI tools, such as ChatGPT, has reached a point where the output generated is indistinguishable from human-produced content.
According to the OECD, implementing measures such as minimum wages and promoting collective bargaining can help alleviate the concerns caused by AI. Additionally, governments and regulators have a crucial role in safeguarding workers' rights and ensuring that they are not compromised in the face of AI advancements.
The organization acknowledged that while AI has the potential to eliminate mundane or hazardous tasks and introduce more engaging ones, firms openly express their primary motivation for investing in AI as improving worker performance and reducing labor costs. Consequently, well-paid jobs that require advanced education are at a higher risk of being affected. Lastly, the report highlighted certain risks associated with the increasing influence of AI in the workplace. These risks include the potential for AI tools to make biased hiring decisions, which could disproportionately impact socio-demographic groups that already face disadvantages in the labor market.