IN A recent interview with Yahoo Finance Live, Burning Glass Institute Chief Economist Gad Levanon expressed concerns about the growing threat of job displacement due to advancing artificial intelligence (AI).
Levanon argued that white-collar jobs are more likely to be impacted by AI, specifically generative AI, which has the ability to absorb knowledge and generate content. This development could lead to “overstaffing” in some white-collar sectors and necessitate a reduction in the workforce.
Generative AI vs manual and service roles
Levanon’s remarks highlight the unique challenges posed by generative AI as it gains proficiency in various tasks typically associated with white-collar professions. While manual and service roles often rely on human skills such as physical agility and interpersonal communication, white-collar jobs often involve routine digital tasks, data analysis, and content creation.
As generative AI models become more advanced, they are increasingly capable of replicating these tasks, which could potentially lead to a decline in their value over time.
One of the key points made by Levanon is the potential erosion of routine digital tasks within white-collar occupations. As large language models continue to improve, tasks that involve coding, data entry, and other routine digital functions may become automated to a significant degree.
This automation could result in a surplus of employees performing these tasks, ultimately leading to a need for downsizing in certain white-collar sectors.
The need for adaptation
While the prospect of job displacement in white-collar industries may seem concerning, Levanon emphasized that generative AI cannot replace jobs that require building personal relationships and emotional intelligence.
These human-centric skills remain essential in many professional fields, and individuals may need to adapt and focus on honing these abilities to remain competitive in the job market.
Expert insights on job displacement
Gad Levanon’s insights echo growing concerns about the impact of AI on the job market. With the rapid development of AI technologies, including natural language processing and machine learning, industries are undergoing transformative changes. The question of how to navigate these changes and mitigate potential job displacement has become a central issue in workforce planning.
As the influence of generative AI continues to grow, individuals and organizations must prepare for the future. This includes identifying areas within white-collar jobs most susceptible to automation and developing strategies to adapt to this evolving landscape. Up-skilling and reskilling programs may become crucial for employees seeking to remain relevant.
The challenge for businesses and policymakers lies in striking a balance between automation and the preservation of human skills. While AI can excel in repetitive and data-driven tasks, humans possess unique abilities such as creativity, empathy, and critical thinking that are difficult to replicate. Finding ways to leverage AI as a tool to enhance human performance rather than replace, it may be a key strategy for the future.
This article was originally published on Cryptopolitan.com.