Forum Institutional

Generative AI can impact jobs by enhancing our creativity and productivity

A close up of a mobile device showing ChatGPT: Generative AI could become the key driver in sectors demanding critical thinking and complex problem-solving. skills.

Generative AI could become the key driver in sectors demanding critical thinking and complex problem-solving. Image: Unsplash/Mojahid Mottakin

Andrew Silva
Insights Lead, Work Wages and Job Creation, World Economic Forum Geneva
Elselot Hasselaar
Head, Work Wages and Job Creation; Interim Head Education, Skills and Learning, World Economic Forum Geneva
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Generative Artificial Intelligence

  • Large language models have the most potential to benefit jobs that involve critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills, especially those in STEM fields.
  • Jobs with the highest potential for automation are those that involve routine and repetitive language tasks, while jobs with a high degree of personal interaction or physical movement will be least affected.
  • A new report will enhance understanding of the potential direct impact of large language models on specific jobs and will enable stakeholders to make more informed decisions.

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as Co-Pilot, Midjourney and ChatGPT are not merely theoretical advances; they are practical tools recalibrating the fundamental operation of our economies.

The recently released World Economic Forum white paper, Jobs of Tomorrow: Large Language Models and Jobs, developed in collaboration with Accenture, casts a spotlight on this transformation, highlighting the tasks and jobs that will be augmented and those that will be automated.

Large language models are deep-learning algorithms that recognize, summarize, translate, predict and generate content, approaching human-level proficiency.

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Augmenting human capabilities

Fields such as engineering, scientific analysis and mathematics would see professionals focusing on high-value creative tasks while AI systems manage the more routine operations. The augmentation of human capacity in such roles leads to a more rewarding work environment that benefits employees and catalyzes innovation while embracing what it means to be human.

On the other hand, jobs centred around repetitive language tasks may be impacted by automation. Occupations such as credit authorizers, checkers and clerks could see up to four-fifths of their tasks automated. At the same time, jobs requiring a high degree of personal interaction, such as education and career counselling, will likely be less impacted by adopting large language models. And lastly, as large language models are adopted more widely, new roles – AI developers, AI content creators and specialists in AI ethics, to name a few – will also emerge.

These are the findings of an extensive analysis examining 19,000 tasks across 867 occupations featured in this latest Jobs of Tomorrow report. It echoes the results of the Future of Jobs Report 2023, which anticipates significant job alterations in the next half-decade.

In a polarized public debate on the expected impact of generative AI, this paper takes a structured approach to understanding the direct impact of large language models on specific jobs. This analysis will enable stakeholders to make more informed decisions in the future.

So, how should business leaders, policymakers and employees prepare? We propose a multifaceted approach to managing this transitional period.

Smoothing the AI transition

Firstly, foresight and adaptability must be the cornerstones of organizational strategies. Comprehending the implications of leveraging large language models, negative and positive, is the first step towards a future where technology augments human capabilities. Secondly, businesses need to strengthen internal workforce planning and invest heavily in reskilling and upskilling workers towards growing roles while recruiting new talent for growing jobs.

Policymakers have a role to play, particularly in guiding the development of education and training programs that prepare workers for the jobs that will benefit most from large language models. Social safety nets and other forms of assistance will need to be in place as current workers retool and retrain, particularly for those most likely to be affected.

Our AI-augmented future holds great promise. The evolving symbiosis between humans and large language models and generative AI, more broadly, has the potential to create value but only if we guide this transition collaboratively. The onus to capitalize on the opportunities while diligently navigating the challenges falls on all of us – business leaders, policymakers and employees alike.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Forum InstitutionalJobs and the Future of WorkEmerging Technologies
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