A new research paper suggests that ChatGPT, an advanced chatbot launched in November, could significantly impact the job market. Researchers from OpenAI and the University of Pennsylvania predict that 80% of the US workforce could see at least 10% of their job tasks affected by ChatGPT, with 19% of workers possibly experiencing a 50% reduction in their work duties due to General-purpose technologies (GPT). Higher-income jobs will likely be more exposed to GPT, but the technology will affect almost all industries.
The study defines “exposure” as whether the introduction of GPT or GPT-powered systems can reduce the time it takes for a human to perform a work task by at least 50%, without distinguishing between labor-augmenting or labor-displacing effects. Researchers point out that exposure doesn’t equate to complete automation of tasks by GPT, but the technology could save workers a significant amount of time in completing a large share of their tasks.
The study also identifies the jobs with the highest levels of exposure, including mathematicians, interpreters, accountants, legal secretaries, writers, and authors. On the other hand, low-paying jobs such as rail maintenance workers, cooks, mechanics, floor-layers, meat-packers, and stonemasons had no exposure.
According to OpenAI researcher Pamela Mishkin, the study doesn’t focus on any specific model available today but examines the trend of GPTs getting better and better at solving complex tasks with fewer examples of related tasks. The study’s findings indicate that the chatbots’ increasing capabilities could pose a significant impact on the workforce, and businesses should prepare for the possible implications.