According to a research paper that was just released by Goldman Sachs this week, artificial intelligence may eliminate as many as 7% of employment in the United States, particularly those ones that fall under the category of white-collar professions.
It has been a few months since ChatGPT, a novel AI language processing tool developed at a company that was partially funded by Microsoft, gained worldwide recognition.
Knowledge workers use the system to complete tasks such as writing emails and computer code in a matter of seconds.
This has sparked concerns about the potential impact that AI could have on employment.
The breakthrough has already started a race among technology companies to integrate mass-market AI systems into their software products and search engines, and it was a race that they won.
The Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs, Jan Hatzius, together with three other senior analysts, came to the conclusion that generative artificial intelligence systems might have potentially enormous macroeconomic repercussions and cause major upheaval in labor markets all over the world in the coming years.
The estimated 7% of positions in the United States that could be impacted by artificial intelligence are primarily in sectors that rely upon office work, such as administrative support and legal.
On the other hand, positions in sectors such as building and grounds maintenance, construction, logistics, and healthcare support will generally remain intact.
The analysts believe that the technology could be able to replace as many as 300 million jobs throughout the world.
Although discussions about technological unemployment over the past few decades have typically centered on blue-collar workers losing their jobs to automated robotics solutions, the widespread adoption of ChatGPT has recently introduced similar questions in white-collar professions.
The system, which has also been used to summarize long texts, make study guides, and translate communications, has garnered strong results on standardized tests such as medical and bar examinations.
Other uses for the technology include translating communications and building study guides.
The high level of performance generated by ChatGPT is an ominious sign for many white collar ‘knowledge’ workers who could soon be replaced, in much the same way blue collar work was automated or off shored a generation ago.
Whether this will have a major impact on many blue cities that rely on knowledge workers remains to be seen.