AI as a Job Killer or Creator? 

The impact of AI on jobs is expected to result in both the elimination of certain occupations and the creation of new job roles.

  • OpenAI’s research suggests that approximately 80% of the US workforce could see at least 10% of their work tasks affected by AI, with around 19% potentially experiencing the impact on at least 50% of their job responsibilities.
  • While some positions may become redundant, the growth of AI could lead to the emergence of alternative employment opportunities in various sectors.

In a statement that echoes the concerns of many, an executive at a prominent artificial intelligence company has acknowledged that while AI technology has the potential to create new jobs, it will likely lead to the elimination of certain occupations as well. Brad Lightcap, the chief operating officer of OpenAI, made the remarks during a Wall Street Journal event at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. 

OpenAI, the company responsible for developing the widely used ChatGPT chatbot, has been grappling with the impact of AI on the job market, much like other AI innovators. During a recent congressional hearing, OpenAI’s Chief Executive Sam Altman admitted that AI has the capacity to “entirely automate some jobs.” Lightcap expanded on this notion, suggesting that while AI impact on jobs may bring about the creation of new positions, it will also result in the elimination of certain job roles. 

As AI continues to advance, OpenAI believes that some jobs can be entirely automated. But Lightcap also acknowledged that the use of AI could lead to the creation of new roles within organizations. He explained that companies employing AI to double their computer code output would require additional employees to handle tasks such as product design, distribution, operations, sales, and marketing. Consequently, while some positions may become redundant, AI-driven growth could generate alternative employment opportunities. 

The research conducted by OpenAI supports the potential far-reaching impact of AI on various occupations. By utilizing their latest language model, GPT-4, and combining it with human expertise, OpenAI researchers examined the exposure of different jobs to AI within the US job market. 

While the study’s authors caution that their findings are not predictive, they discovered that approximately 80 percent of the US workforce could see at least 10 percent of their work tasks affected by Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPTs), a type of language model developed by OpenAI. Furthermore, around 19 percent of workers may witness the impact on at least 50 percent of their job responsibilities. 

It is important to note that the research does not differentiate between labor-augmenting or labor-displacing effects. Nevertheless, the findings highlight the significant potential influence of AI impact on jobs on a wide range of professions. 

As AI technology advances, the delicate balance between job creation and elimination remains a key concern. While it is undeniable that certain jobs may become obsolete, the potential for new opportunities and increased productivity suggests a complex landscape for the future of work. 

“The economy is pretty dynamic, and the folks that are doing that type of work are generally pretty smart and observant, and I think we’ll just find other things to do,” Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI.  

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