Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing rapidly, leading many to question its impact on job security.
This issue has gained significant attention following the introduction of AI tools like ChatGPT. A recent UK Government study sheds light on the jobs most at risk from AI, providing many with a deeper understanding of its impact.
UK Study: Assessing Job Vulnerability To AI
The UK Department for Education conducted a study to assess job vulnerability to AI. This study, focusing on AI’s potential in automating jobs, revealed that 10-30% of roles might be at risk of AI-driven automation. This percentage varies based on individual perspectives on AI’s capabilities.
The study examined various job functions and qualifications across multiple sectors, focusing on ten AI applications:
- Abstract strategy games
- Real-time video games
- Image recognition
- Visual question answering
- Image generation
- Reading comprehension
- Language modeling
- Speech recognition
- Instrumental track recognition
Jobs were evaluated based on their relevance to these functions, resulting in an AI Occupational Exposure (AIOE) score. Higher scores indicated a greater likelihood of AI integration in those roles.
Findings: Sectors Most and Least Exposed to AI
Initial findings identified professional sectors like finance, law, and business management as more vulnerable to AI. The finance and insurance industries, in particular, showed high exposure levels. The study suggests a correlation between higher educational requirements for a job and greater AI exposure.
Conversely, roles requiring less education and experience, except for security guards, showed lower AI exposure. The emergence of security technology has made these roles more AI-centric than similar low-education jobs.
The International Labor Organization highlighted that most jobs are only partially exposed to AI, suggesting that many employees could benefit from AI rather than being replaced by it.
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Top 20 Occupations at Risk
The study categorised the top 20 occupations most vulnerable to AI and large language models (LLMs), covering a range of sectors including consulting, telephone sales, psychology, legal professions, teaching, and payroll management.
Conversely, jobs least exposed to AI typically involved manual labour, such as sports players, roofers, and painters. In professional sectors, roles like veterinarians, medical radiographers, and senior police officers were among the least exposed. Industries like food services, agriculture, and construction also showed lower AI exposure levels.
Potential for AI-Driven Job Replacement
While the study primarily focused on AI exposure, it also identified 16 job types as ‘high automation occupations’. These include writers, translators, bank clerks, and customer service roles, all of which have high AIOE scores.
The Future of AI and Employment
The study’s findings, based on current assumptions, offer a data-driven glimpse into the potential impact of AI on various jobs.
Although it’s impossible to predict the future accurately, this research provides valuable insights into the evolving job market in the age of AI. As technology progresses, it’s important to monitor these trends to understand better how AI will shape our professional landscapes.