Global labor markets are poised for a new era of turbulence as technologies like artificial intelligence accelerate the decline of clerical work, while simultaneously increasing demand for technology and cybersecurity specialists.
Over the next five years, nearly a quarter of all jobs will change as a result of AI, digitization and other economic developments like the green energy transition and supply chain re-shoring, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum in Geneva on Monday.
While the study expects AI to result in “significant labor-market disruption,” the net impact of most technologies will be positive over the next five years as big data analytics, management technologies and cybersecurity become the biggest drivers of employment growth.
The emergence of AI applications like ChatGPT, which uses machines to simulate human reasoning and problem solving, will have a particularly pronounced impact by displacing and automating many roles that involve reasoning, communicating and coordinating, the report said.
Some 75% of surveyed companies said they expect to adopt AI technologies over the next five years, which they predict will eliminate up to 26 million jobs in record-keeping and administrative positions — think cashiers, ticket clerks, data entry and accounting. The WEF study surveyed more than 800 companies that collectively employ 11.3 million workers across 45 economies from all over the world.
For now, AI remains a smaller threat to labor prospects than other macroeconomic factors like slower economic growth, supply shortages and inflation, the report said. Opportunities for job creation will likely come from investments that facilitate the green transition of businesses, the broader application of ESG standards and a broad reorientation of global supply chains, it said.
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