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How AI Impact Is Poised to Enhance Jobs, Not Erase Them, According to a New Study

TL;DR

  • New study challenges the notion that AI will replace human jobs, emphasizing its potential to enhance job quality and autonomy.
  • Research by the International Labour Organization (ILO) reveals varying impacts of AI on employment across countries and gender disparities.
  • Calls for responsible AI diffusion, worker empowerment, and socioeconomic safeguards in managing the transition.

Contrary to fears that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will obliterate human jobs, a recent study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) suggests that AI is more likely to augment and improve the quality of jobs. Released on August 21, the study titled “Generative AI and Jobs: A global analysis of potential effects on job quantity and quality” highlights the nuanced impact of Generative AI, emphasizing that the real concern lies in the potential changes to job quality, including work intensity and autonomy.

AI impact across industries and countries

In a comprehensive global analysis, the ILO’s study unveiled intriguing insights into the effects of AI on various industries and countries, dispelling some common misconceptions. The research indicates that while certain jobs, particularly clerical work, face substantial technological exposure, most jobs across different occupational groups are only partially exposed to automation. Among the key findings is the fact that clerical work experiences the highest technological exposure, with nearly a quarter of tasks highly susceptible to automation and over half with medium-level exposure. In contrast, jobs held by managers, professionals, and technicians exhibit minimal vulnerability to automation, with only a small fraction of tasks at high risk and around a quarter at medium risk.

The study highlights the significant divergence in AI’s effects on countries, largely linked to economic structures and technological disparities. High-income countries face the potential automation of about 5.5% of total employment, whereas low-income countries encounter automation risks affecting a mere 0.4% of employment. But, the potential for augmentation appears nearly equal across countries, implying that with the right policies, AI could offer substantial benefits to developing nations. Notably, this reveals a potential shift from repetitive, low-skilled jobs to knowledge-based roles, raising questions about the widening economic gap between developed and developing countries.

Beyond industry and country variations, the ILO’s study underscores gender disparities in AI’s potential impact. Female employment is more than twice as likely to be affected by automation due to women’s overrepresentation in clerical work, particularly in high and middle-income countries. As clerical jobs have traditionally provided significant employment opportunities for women during economic development, Generative AI might prevent the emergence of certain clerical positions in lower-income countries.

The study’s conclusion emphasizes that the socioeconomic consequences of Generative AI will heavily rely on how its implementation is managed. It calls for the development of policies that support a well-structured, equitable, and consultative transition. Worker participation, skills training, and robust social protection are deemed crucial to navigating the AI-driven transformation effectively. Without such measures, there is a risk that only a select few well-prepared countries and entities will reap the benefits of this technology, leaving others behind.

Towards responsible AI diffusion and governance

As the world grapples with the implications of AI, global organizations like the United Nations are taking proactive steps. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has initiated the development of a “Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms,” aimed at promoting responsible AI use. The proposed principles encompass commitments to combat disinformation and hate speech, protect independent media, eliminate double standards in content moderation, and ensure safety, privacy, and transparency in digital products.

In parallel, concerns about the broader societal risks posed by AI have prompted a group of over 350 AI industry leaders to label it a “societal risk on a par with pandemics and nuclear wars.” In response, Guterres advocates for multilateral solutions based on human rights and urges attention to the immediate harm caused by digital technology, including conflict, destruction, threats to democracy, and public health and climate issues.

UNESCO underscores the importance of regulating Generative AI in education and research to ensure a human-centered approach. The agency has published global guidance to address the potential disruptions and harm posed by Generative AI technologies. UNESCO emphasizes that integrating AI into education requires public engagement, safeguards, and government regulations.

The ILO’s study challenges the prevailing narrative of AI as a job destroyer, highlighting its potential to augment and enhance job quality. But, it calls for responsible diffusion, worker empowerment, and socio-economic safeguards to harness the benefits of AI while minimizing potential pitfalls. As AI continues to reshape the world of work, global organizations and policymakers must remain vigilant in ensuring that its integration aligns with human rights, equity, and societal well-being.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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