High-skilled jobs are most exposed to AI, the impact of which is still unknown

The employment prospects paper shows that highly skilled professions are the most exposed to artificial intelligence while the potential impact on employment is yet to be seen.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its latest employment report, focusing on the demand for labor and widespread scarcity due to the ongoing high inflation that is shaping fiscal policy around the world.

Key conclusions are covered in a chapter dedicated to exploring why there is no significant sign of labor demand slowing due to advances in AI. Measures of exposure to AI show that available tools have shown the greatest progress in areas requiring “non-routine cognitive tasks such as information sequencing, memorization, and speed of perception”.

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The OECD says it is a key quality of work requiring significant training or higher education. Later research named “high-skilled white-collar jobs” as the most exposed to AI.

Business professionals, managers, chief executives, and science and engineering professionals are listed as key occupations exposed to AI capabilities. While food preparation assistants, agricultural, forestry and fishery workers, cleaners and helpers were mentioned as the jobs least affected by AI.

The publication also takes an in-depth look at the evidence on the impact of AI on the labor market, noting that progress in space is so rapid, that it is difficult to distinguish its output from that produced by humans.

The report states that the net impact of AI is unclear because although AI replaces some jobs, it can also stimulate labor demand by increasing productivity. AI also has the potential to create new tasks, some of which create new jobs.

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

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Meanwhile, negative employment effects due to advances in AI are hard to find. The OECD cites data reflecting high-skilled workers’ view of job gains over the last decade compared to low-skilled workers.

The chapter also notes that its findings on impact at specific levels of work predate the emergence of large language models such as ChatGPT, noting that generative AI can further expand the range of tasks and jobs that can be automated.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the AI ​​sector has seen a surge in job seekers, with Google searches for “AI jobs” being four times higher than searches for “crypto jobs” during the height of the 2021 bull run.

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