Home Data Science and GovernanceArtificial Intelligence AI and the Future of Work: Job Apocalypse – new report predicts 8 million jobs cancelled because of Generative AI. Innovation and Employment Crisis in the UK

AI and the Future of Work: Job Apocalypse – new report predicts 8 million jobs cancelled because of Generative AI. Innovation and Employment Crisis in the UK

by Massimo

Job Apocalypse - new report predicts 8 million jobs cancelled because of Generative AI

In recent discourse, particularly in professional conferences, the potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to supplant human roles has been a topic of intense debate. I have often presented the argument, using the role of a secretary as an exemplar, demonstrating how Generative AI could feasibly undertake between 45% to 60% of tasks traditionally assigned to secretarial staff. Furthermore, I’ve highlighted the possibility that AI could impact up to 80% of women in the western world, underscoring the profound implications AI holds for the workforce.

Further examination into the digital marketing sphere suggested a startling forecast: approximately 75% of roles within this domain could vanish within the next three to five years due to AI integration:

Today, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published a study forecasting the influence of AI on the UK job market over the next three to five years. This report specifically highlights the anticipated replacement of secretarial roles by AI in numerous tasks, confirming the predictions I had made earlier.

Entry level, part-time and administrative jobs will be the most exposed to being replaced by AI under a “worst-case scenario”.

Substantial Gains with Government Action: The IPPR posits that AI could lead to significant wage and productivity gains if the UK government implements appropriate policies. The current moment is described as a “sliding doors” scenario, where government action could determine the extent to which AI disrupts the job market or leads to a “job apocalypse.”

  1. Impact on Jobs based on IMF Analysis: Referencing the International Monetary Fund’s analysis, the IPPR highlights that AI could affect almost 40% of jobs globally. It has examined 22,000 tasks within the UK economy to assess the potential for automation by AI.
  2. Current and Future AI adoption waves: The IPPR estimates that 11% of tasks are exposed to the “first wave” of AI adoption, involving routine cognitive tasks like database management and strategic tasks such as scheduling or inventory management. A “second wave” could see AI automating 59% of tasks, including non-routine tasks that could impact higher-earning jobs.
  3. Scenarios for AI Impact on the Job Market: The IPPR outlines three potential scenarios:
    1. Worst-case scenario: All jobs are at risk, leading to 7.9 million job losses and no GDP gains.
    2. Mid-level scenario: Job losses exceed 800,000, but there are gains of £260 billion annually.
    3. Best-case scenario: Jobs adapt and augment with AI, resulting in no job losses and a 13% economic boost to GDP.
  4. Government Strategy Requirement: To avoid the worst-case scenario and aim for the best-case outcome, the IPPR emphasizes the need for a “job-centric industrial strategy” from the government.
  5. AI Deployment for social needs: AI could be used to improve efficiency in social care and mental health services by automating back-office tasks, addressing social needs effectively.
  6. Potential for Labour Market Disruption or Growth: Carsten Jung, a senior economist at IPPR, notes that existing generative AI could either cause significant labour market disruption or greatly enhance economic growth. The pace and manner of AI adoption by employers are critical.
  7. Technological Change Management: Historical examples show that technological transitions can be beneficial if well-managed but can lead to disruption if left uncontrolled. Specific occupations, especially in back-office roles, could be significantly affected by generative AI.
  8. Impact on Specific Roles: Bhargav Srinivasa Desikan, a senior research fellow at IPPR, mentions that roles such as copywriters, graphic designers, and personal assistants could be heavily affected by AI.
  9. Call for Government Strategy on AI: The Institute of Directors urges the UK government to clarify its AI strategy and regulatory approach to prevent the UK economy from being left behind.
  10. Importance of Upskilling and Broadening Hiring Pools: Matt Monette, UK&I country lead at payroll company Deel, highlights the importance of upskilling employees and broadening hiring pools, including hiring from abroad, to harness the benefits of AI effectively.

In the tapestry of the modern economy, Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerges as both a harbinger of innovation and a potential catalyst for an employment crisis. The intersection of AI’s capabilities with the job market spells a transformative period for the workforce, particularly in the United Kingdom. This analysis ventures into the depths of AI’s impact, unraveling its implications on employment across various sectors, with a focus on those most at risk.

As we stand at this crossroads, it becomes imperative for stakeholders across the spectrum to engage in meaningful dialogue and action. Policymakers, businesses, and individuals must collaborate to shape a future that harnesses AI’s potential while safeguarding against its risks. Whether through further research, policy formulation, or adopting AI with a human-centric approach, the time to act is now. Let us embrace this opportunity to redefine the future of work, ensuring it is inclusive, equitable, and reflective of our shared aspirations for progress and prosperity.

Consider the implications of AI that can produce political discourse, fabricate news, and even draft the holy scriptures of new religions. The emergence of cults or movements based around AI-generated content could redefine the landscape of belief, politics, and identity. The capacity of AI to engage in seemingly human interactions further complicates this scenario, as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between genuine human expression and AI-generated content.

Moreover, AI’s impact extends beyond the manipulation of information. It questions the foundation of our cultural and societal norms. For millennia, human culture and history have been shaped by human experiences and creations. AI introduces an ‘alien’ intelligence capable of producing cultural content without human intervention, potentially leading to a future where human culture is profoundly influenced—or even dominated—by non-human intelligence.

The challenge we face is not just regulating this technology but understanding its capabilities, limitations, and potential impacts on society. The notion that AI could, without achieving traditional markers of sentience, influence human civilization raises fundamental questions about the nature of power, control, and human agency in an increasingly digital world.

Read more about impact of AI on jobs and society clicking here.

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More