Artificial intelligence (AI) programs, such as generative AI like ChatGPT, are poised to reshape the landscape of employment, particularly in white-collar sectors, reveals a recent analysis of job site advertisements conducted by Indeed.
The report, based on an examination of over 55 million job entries and the identification of more than 2,600 job skills, underscores that approximately one in five jobs is “highly exposed” to AI disruption, implying that AI can proficiently execute 80% of the requisite tasks. The most significantly impacted roles, with 95% of tasks deemed automatable by chatbots, are in the domain of software development. Other professions, including copywriting, IT support, and knowledge-based jobs, also face substantial exposure to AI-induced changes.
The Extent of AI Impact
The study categorizes jobs into varying degrees of vulnerability to AI integration, with approximately one-third of jobs labeled as having “low exposure.” In these roles, AI can effectively perform only 50% or less of the applicable tasks. Such positions primarily encompass human-centric responsibilities, such as childcare, retail work, and truck driving.
An essential factor in determining a job’s susceptibility to AI disruption is its suitability for remote work. The report asserts that jobs conducive to remote work are more likely to be replicable by AI. The correlation between remote work and AI automation is attributed to the greater ease with which AI can take over tasks that do not require physical presence.
Despite the growing capabilities of AI, the report emphasizes the enduring need for human intervention in conjunction with technology. Svenja Gudell, Indeed’s Chief Economist, highlights that AI will always necessitate human oversight. Drawing on the example of a company hiring 10 coders to perform a task, Gudell notes that AI could reduce the headcount to three by automating processes. However, AI’s propensity for errors underscores the importance of human involvement in ensuring accuracy and effectiveness.
Job disparities and in-demand roles
A notable observation is that the most in-demand jobs appear to be least affected by AI integration. Twenty of the top 25 most commonly posted job listings on Indeed exhibit a lower susceptibility to AI’s capacity to execute their tasks when compared to the average job posting.
These roles, which encompass lower-income occupations such as janitors, construction workers, bartenders, and police officers, continue to require predominantly human skill sets and interactions.
While acknowledging that some individuals may face job displacement in the short term due to AI adoption, Gudell asserts that these losses are expected to be offset by the creation of new employment opportunities aligned with the evolving marketplace.
The incursion of automation into the employment landscape is not new. Initially, experts anticipated that manufacturing jobs would be the first to succumb to automation, particularly with the advent of automated factory lines. However, the emergence of generative AI, capable of more complex tasks, has expanded the scope of AI-induced disruption.
Leading technology companies are already adapting their practices to accommodate AI integration. Notably, tech manufacturing giant IBM temporarily halted the hiring of personnel for back-office roles in May. This decision was made in line with the company’s strategic intent to reduce its workforce by 30% over the next five years, replacing human roles with automated software systems.