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How AI Automation Could Impact Up to 300 Million Jobs

Woman leaving the office with her belongings in a box.

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AI automation is no longer just a buzzword; it is transforming industries and impacting jobs. Artificial intelligence has already changed the way we live and work, from personal digital assistants to self-driving cars. But how exactly will AI automation impact the workforce? According to a report by Goldman Sachs, up to 300 million jobs could be impacted in the next decade. Here are the top industries to feel the change.

2 out of 3 jobs could be automated by AI

The report shows that around 66% of occupations in the United States face the possibility of being automated to some extent by AI. What’s more, within this group of vulnerable occupations, a significant portion of their responsibilities — anywhere from 25% to 50% — could be replaced by AI technology.

This means a considerable portion of work could experience labor savings through AI implementation. The potential impact of AI on labor productivity in the future is contingent upon two crucial factors: its advancement rate and the rate at which individuals and businesses embrace it.

Industries most impacted

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables efficient automation of repetitive tasks and enables prompt responses. This liberates humans to focus on complex tasks that demand creativity and emotional intelligence, fostering opportunities for growth and innovation.

For example, AI-powered chatbots can help augment customer service at financial institutions. They can help answer questions and offer assistance in real-time, making recommendations on investments, budgets, and more. Additionally, AI-enabled platforms can learn from a user’s financial history and patterns, detecting potential fraud to help protect bank accounts and more.

The industries that will be the most affected by AI-driven automation are “office and administrative support” and “legal.” The former will likely be the most impacted at 46%, with common tasks such as data entry, scheduling meetings, and document management being taken over by AI automation.

The legal industry is a close second, with AI expected to automate legal processes like document review and contract analysis. AI could even be used to anticipate court case outcomes.

Industry Estimated Share of U.S. Employment Exposed to AI (%)
Office and administrative support 46%
Legal 44%
Architecture and engineering 37%
Life, physical, and social science 36%
Business and financial operations 35%
Community and social service 33%
Management 32%
Sales and related 31%
Computer and mathematical 29%
Farming, fishing, and forestry 28%
Protective service 28%
Healthcare practitioners and technical 28%
Educational instruction and library 27%
Healthcare support 26%
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media 26%
All industries average 25%
Personal care and service 19%
Food preparation and serving related 12%
Transportation and material moving 11%
Production 9%
Data source: Goldman Sachs report

Industries that heavily rely on manual labor, such as construction and extraction, and jobs requiring installation, maintenance, or repair will remain largely unaffected.

According to Goldman Sachs, the potential impact of AI automation on the global job market could be significant. Under a hypothetical aggressive scenario, up to 300 million jobs could be affected.

The widespread use of generative AI technology in the workforce has the potential to greatly improve global productivity. This is because a significant portion of jobs can be automated resulting in increased output. These workers will likely utilize some of their newly available time to be more productive. This could lead to a 7% increase in annual global GDP, equivalent to an astounding $7 trillion.

AI automation is transforming our world and will continue to impact the workforce in the coming years. While this transformation could result in job losses and the need for reskilling and upskilling, it could also create new job opportunities and change the nature of existing ones. It’s important for individuals, organizations, and governments to prepare for this transformation by investing in education and training programs, developing new job opportunities, and implementing policies that support workers through this transition. With the right strategies in place, we can harness the power of AI automation to create a more efficient, productive, and equitable workforce.

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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Goldman Sachs Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 comment
  1. Does this mean there will be unemployed lawyers, or that they will end up taking less desirable cases, or that the threshold for lawsuits will drop even more, so there will be lawsuits involving every aspect of American life, from cradle to grave and beyond?
    Likely the number of lawyers will increase to compensate for more involvement by AI.

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