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High-skilled jobs most exposed to AI, impact still unknown

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A job outlook paper suggests high-skilled occupations are most at risk from artificial intelligence while its potential impact on jobs remains to be seen.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released its latest jobs report, focusing on labor demand and widespread shortages given high inflation and resulting fiscal policies in the world.

A key takeaway is covered in a chapter devoted to exploring why there are no significant signs of a slowdown in labor demand due to advances in AI. Measurements of AI exposure show that available tools have shown the most progress in areas requiring “non-routine cognitive tasks such as information ordering, memorization, and perceptual speed.”

According to the OECD, these are essential qualities of professions requiring substantial training or higher education. The research goes on to label “highly-skilled white-collar jobs” as the most exposed to AI.

Business professionals, managers, CEOs, and science and engineering professionals are listed as the top occupations exposed to AI capabilities. Meanwhile, food preparation assistants, agricultural, forestry and fishing workers, cleaners and helpers are named as the professions least affected by AI.

The publication also takes an in-depth look at the evidence for AI’s impact on labor markets, noting that progress in space has been rapid, making it difficult to distinguish between its results and those produced by humans.

The report says the net impact of AI is ambiguous because while AI displaces some jobs, it can also boost labor demand by increasing productivity. AI also has the potential to create new tasks, which in part creates new jobs.

“AI will replace labor in some jobs, but it will also create new jobs where human labor has a competitive advantage.”

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Meanwhile, negative employment effects from advances in AI are hard to find. The OECD cites data that shows that high-skilled workers have experienced employment gains over the past decade compared to low-skilled workers.

The chapter also notes that its findings on the impact on specific levels of work come before the advent of large language models like ChatGPT, noting that generative AI could further expand the scope of tasks and jobs that can be automated. .

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the AI ​​sector has seen an increase in job seekers, with Google searching for “AI jobs” four times more than searches for “crypto jobs” during the 2021 peak. .

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