Goldman Sachs Estimates That 300 Million Jobs Will Be Affected By AI In The Future

Woman doing computer work, surrounded by digital artificial intelligence signals

There are two ways to think about A.I. and powerful AI tools like ChatGPT that can understand and generate human-like language: You can either see it as a tool, like the invention of vulcanized rubber to create tires that started the automotive industry, or as a threat, like the invention of nuclear weapons that can cause immense harm if used improperly or fall into the wrong hands.

When it comes to the future of how AI will be integrated into our universe, there are two ways to look at it: as a potential utopia like Wall-E, or a dystopia like Terminator. Regardless of how you view it, one thing is clear: AI is coming, and it’s important to prepare your career for its potential impact.

AI and automation

As a tool in the modern workplace, one way to think about it is like the emergence of the steam-powered thresher in the 1830s. The thresher was a machine used in agriculture to separate grains from their husks. Before its invention, this was a labor-intensive process that required many workers to do by hand. But with the thresher, one machine could accomplish what used to take ten men.

This made harvesting crops much more efficient and allowed farmers to produce more food with less labor. This meant more money for farmers and landowners, which led to the growth of industries, like markets, machinery, transportation, and banks. A whole era of economic growth was spearheaded because of this inevitable innovation in automation.

Just as the invention of the threshing machine revolutionized agriculture by increasing efficiency and reducing labor needs, the development of machine-learning tools like ChatGPT has the potential to transform knowledge work in corporate jobs.

AI has the potential to revolutionize many industries and make our lives easier in countless ways. It can already ace standardized tests. But of course, it comes with a touch of caution: People are understandably worried that AI will cost people their jobs, and, therefore, their ability to pay their mortgage and put food on the table.

Goldman Sachs releases report on jobs affected by A.I.

Goldman Sachs, the second largest investment bank in the world by revenue, recently published a report on how the bank sees A.I. affecting the labor market. This is on the heels of a report by OpenAI and the University of Pennsylvania that estimated that some 80% of jobs could be affected by AI in the future, including some jobs that see up to 50% of their tasks impacted. 

The Goldman report is about how AI could impact the job market. It is important for workers in all industries to understand what’s happening in the world of technology, especially through the eyes of a massive financial institution that funds many growth sectors of the economy.

In a nutshell, the bank writes that the emergence of AI that can create content that looks like a human created could lead to significant automation of jobs, potentially affecting up to one-fourth of current work.

The bank is candid on the economic impact AI will have in the future. It predicts the AI era will affect 300 million full-time jobs to automation, “if it delivers on its promised capabilities.
Here’s why: AI can be programmed to perform tasks currently done by humans. This has become especially true with large language models like ChatGPT, which can automate writing-heavy knowledge work in marketing, accounting, or programming jobs.

But there are use cases elsewhere. For example, an AI system could be trained to recognize patterns in X-rays, which could potentially replace radiologists. Or an AI system could be used to analyze legal documents, which could potentially replace some lawyers.

While all this sounds like The Terminator coming for your paycheck, there’s not much reason to worry, as long as you’re willing to build a new skillset. History has shown us that when jobs are lost to new technology, new ones are created to take their place, resulting in overall employment growth. 

The bank writes that the use of AI could lead to substantial cost savings and higher productivity, leading to a possible productivity boom that could significantly raise economic growth.

Goldman also projects that generative AI could potentially raise annual US labor productivity growth by just under 1.5% over a 10-year period following widespread adoption, and could increase annual global GDP by 7%.

Of course, this all depends on its capabilities and adoption timeline.

What jobs does Goldman Sachs say will be most affected by A.I.?

So what gigs will be most effected? The  largely follows the same findings as the University of Pennsylvania study, calling out the following: 

  • Office administrative support
  • Legal
  • Architecture and engineering
  • Business and financial operations
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Healthcare
  • Art and design

The Goldman report also gives a percentage of industries that pose the greatest risk. The highest being office and administrative support jobs (46%), followed by legal jobs (44%) and the lowest being building, groundskeeping, and maintenance jobs (1%) and installation, maintenance, and repair jobs (4%). 

The Goldman report shows that not all jobs are at risk of being replaced by AI. Jobs that involve tasks that are difficult for machines to do, such as plumbing, landscaping, HVAC repair, or other trade jobs, are generally safe. This is because these jobs require skills that are difficult to automate, such as problem-solving and working with your hands.

However, even if your specific job is not at risk of being replaced by AI, it’s still worth paying attention to developments in the field. For one thing, AI is already being used in many industries to automate certain tasks, which could potentially change the nature of some jobs.

“Why only 46% of admin jobs?,” one person writes on Twitter in response to the report. “I guarantee you if AI is able to replace 46%, it’s absolutely able to replace more than that. and no one will stop at 46%. It’ll be 90%+. This reminds me of when AT&T hired McKinsey in 1980 to do a projection on how big the wireless phone market would be. They were off by just a smidge.”

In conclusion

In short, the rise of AI is a double-edged sword. While it has the potential to automate a significant portion of the workforce, it could also lead to higher productivity and cost savings, creating a possible productivity boom. As AI continues to advance, it’s crucial to be aware of its potential impact and prepare for a future where it is harnessed for the betterment of society.

Navigating the future is all about keeping your skills sharp. Learning how to use products like ChatGDT is as simple as acquainting yourself with its powerful capabilities over time. Plus, you can always take online courses and read practical tips on how to use it in the workplace, fine-tuning your job opportunities.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready for the AI revolution. 

B. Carlisle

Contributing editor at Wealth Gang. An entrepreneur at heart, he's passionate about meaningful ways to leverage technology and social media for business opportunities and side hustles.