AI Puts Up to 8 million UK jobs at risk

Almost 8 million UK jobs could be lost to artificial intelligence in a “jobs apocalypse”, according to a study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a British charity organization.

Generative artificial intelligence has been on a juggernaut boom since the launch of OpenAI’s groundbreaking language model ChatGPT. Generative AI is a type of AI (such as ChatGPT) that can generate new forms of creative content, such as audio, code, images, text, simulations and videos.
The models are already being used to generate new forms of creative content, such as text, software code, images, audio, simulations and videos.

The report has identified two stages of generative AI adoption in the workplace: the first wave, which is already under way and putting jobs at risks, and a second wave in which companies will more deeply integrate AI tech into their processes.

IPPR analysis of 22,000 tasks in the UK economy, covering every type of job, finds that 11 per cent of tasks done by workers are already threatened by generative AI.

It identifies ‘routine cognitive’ tasks (such as database management) and ‘organisational and strategic’ tasks (such as scheduling or inventory management) as most exposed to generative AI.

Back-office, entry level and part time jobs are at the highest risk of being disrupted during the first wave. These include secretarial, customer service and administrative roles.

Since women and young people are more likely to be in such jobs, they will be among the most affected, the IPPR report says.

Second Wave
In the second wave, the share of tasks threatened by generative AI could increase to 59 percent of tasks. This would also impact non-routine cognitive tasks (such as creating and maintaining databases) and would affect increasingly higher earning jobs.

In a worst-case scenario, all 7.9 million jobs at risk would be replaced by generative AI with no GDP gains.
But things don’t have to go that fast. If all jobs at risk are augmented to adapt to AI, instead of replaced, a ‘job apocalypse’ could be avoided and the UK’s GDP could increase by 13 percent, the study says.

Wage gains for workers could also rise. Deployment of AI could also free up labour to fill gaps related to unaddressed social needs. For instance, workers could be re-allocated to social care and mental health services which are currently under-resourced.

Since different scenarios are a distinct possibility, the IPPR insists that the government should act.

“It is crucial that all workers benefit from these technological advancements, and not just the big tech corporations,” says Bhargav Srinivasa Desikan, senior research fellow at IPPR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *