The launch in November of the ChatGPT chatbot, considered a revolution in the use of AI, has created many fears about the transformation of the world of work and its impact on employment.

But a new study from the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO) examining the potential effect of these artificial intelligence platforms, suggests that most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation.

AI "will make it possible to accompany rather than replace certain activities", says the ILO.

"Thus the first consequence of this new technology is unlikely to result in job destruction, but rather in potential changes in job quality, including work intensity and autonomy," the study reveals.

The study also points out that the effects of this new technology vary considerably across occupations and areas, with women more likely than men to have their work affected.

Administrative work in offices is proving to be the category most exposed to artificial intelligence technologies with almost a quarter of tasks considered highly exposed and more than half having a medium level of exposure.

Among managers and technicians, only a small portion of tasks will be affected by AI, while about a quarter have average exposure levels, according to the ILO.

The report indicates that high-income countries would experience the greatest effects of automation due to the high share of office jobs.

It found that 5.5% of total employment in high-income countries were potentially exposed to the automation effects of generative AI, while only 0.4% of employment in low-income countries were.

At the same time, the study highlighted that the share of employment potentially affected by automation was more than twice as high for women as for men, due to the overrepresentation of women in office work, especially in high- and middle-income countries.

While this study reveals significant differences between rich and poor countries, it finds that the potential number of jobs created by AI is virtually the same in all countries.

This suggests that "with the right policies in place, this new wave of technological transformation could offer significant benefits to developing countries," the ILO said.

Countries will therefore need to design policies to support "orderly, equitable and consultative" change, the study's authors said.

© 2023 AFP