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This 2023 artificial intelligence is the main topic and gives the impression that every week, its technology evolves, endangering anyone's work. A type of anxiety that already has a name, 'AI-nxiety', and that is also propitiated by unflattering news about the impact of this technology on humanity and in particular, on the labor market.

A few days ago, the company responsible for ChatGPT and the GPT-3, GPT-3.5 or GPT-4 language models, OpenAI, published a document in which the company itself analyzed the future impact of its technology on the US labor market. According to the study itself, about 80% of the workforce of workers in the United States will have at least 10% of their tasks affected by ChatGPT and similar technologies. He added that 19% of jobs would be directly affected.

Now it is the US financial institution Goldman Sachs who collects in an investigation that artificial intelligence could cause a disruption in the labor market that would affect 300 million jobs worldwide. According to this paper, the advance in artificial intelligence could lead to the automation of a quarter of the work done in the United States and Europe, while about two-thirds of current jobs are exposed to a degree of automation.

Although the report has positive predictions such as that systems such as ChatGPT could cause a productivity boom, thus increasing the annual global gross domestic product, temporarily for ten years, by 7% and could generate the creation of new jobs. The other side of the coin is the automation exposure of up to 300 million full-time workers, according to the report's authors, Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnan.

Office jobs at risk

Most workers will see half of their workload automated without facing a layoff, which could increase their free time for leisure and other activities. Affecting 64% of the U.S. workforce, while 30% who perform physical or outdoor work will not be affected. However, there are a much more vulnerable 7% since more than half of their work will be done by an AI.

In fact, the most affected group would be the 'white-collar workers', educated workers who perform tasks in legal and administration. Jobs as sales coordinator, managers, some types of managers and legal advisors. These estimates were made based on an analysis of data, both from Europe and the United States, on jobs that could be redundant thanks to this technology.

The researchers assumed that AI would be able to perform tasks such as completing tax returns for a small business, evaluating claims to an insurer or documenting the results of a crime scene investigation. They have no plans to adopt this automation in more delicate tasks such as issuing a court ruling, verifying the condition of a patient in intensive care or studying international tax laws.

In an earlier study by researchers at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and New York University, published in March of this year, it also estimated that legal services are the sector most likely to be affected by technology such as ChatGPT.

Higher productivity, fewer layoffs

Despite the anxiety generated by this new fear of losing one's job, there are more optimistic data that foresee a golden age in terms of productivity, without the need for layoffs or jobs fully automated with artificial intelligence. Becoming this a work tool and is not a substitute.

Researchers from Microsoft and MIT, for example, published an analysis in February that revealed how developers using AI are able to complete tasks 55.8% faster than those who don't. Weeks later, MIT scientists pointed out in a study that professionals who use ChatGPT feel more satisfied in their work, since with this tool they are able to automate tedious processes, thus being able to finish sooner.

In an analysis published by the Center for Economic Policy Research in 2016, the effect of automation on US job growth was analyzed. The conclusion of the author, James Bessen, is that occupations that use computers do not have to suffer job losses.

"The belief that computer automation necessarily leads to large job losses ignores the dynamic economic response to automation, a response that involves both changes in demand and substitution between occupations," Bessen says.

Most automation is partial. For example, despite widespread automation since 1950, it appears that only one of the 270 detailed occupations listed in the 1950 U.S. Census was eliminated thanks to automation, elevator operators.

Even as early as 2022, both the US and the European Commission expressed great interest in working on a joint study to assess the potential impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce of both territories. In this paper, they point to other occupations exposed to automation such as clinical laboratory technicians, chemical engineers, optometrists, and power plant operators; Unlike software and robots, AI performs tasks that involve detecting patterns, making judgments, and optimizing. "More broadly, high-skilled occupations are the most exposed to AI," the paper reads. Although it also highlights the appearance of new jobs derived from this technology.

Substitute for criminal jobs

Also this week, Europol warned about the use of tools such as ChatGPT by criminal networks. For example, he has pointed out the potential of this tool to generate coherent and very realistic texts to plan phishing tactics posing as companies or people. It also fears the effects of disinformation for propaganda purposes.

"If a potential criminal knows nothing about a particular criminal area, ChatGPT can significantly speed up the investigation process, by offering key information that can then be further explored in later steps. As such, ChatGPT can be used to learn about a host of potential criminal areas without prior knowledge, ranging from how to enter a home, to terrorism, cybercrime and child sexual abuse," Europol adds in the report.

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