The most exposed US workers to tasks that artificial intelligence can perform well largely don’t feel their jobs are at risk.
Those employees — many of whom work in information, technology and professional services — say that the technology will help them more than hurt, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday. Those with greater exposure tend to be well educated, earn higher wages and are more likely to be women rather than men.
“Asian adults, college graduates and upper-income workers were more likely than other workers to say they think the use of AI in the workplace over the next 20 years will help more than hurt them personally at the workplace,” according to the Pew report.
Men were twice as likely to be hopeful about AI than women, the report showed.
The researchers define exposure to AI as the likelihood that it will replace or help certain activities performed at work. They make no determination as to whether workers will lose their jobs as a result or gain new ones, and they also didn’t consider the role of robots.
The existential risk toward jobs is that AI can bring superhuman intelligence to tasks, but many don’t see a direct impact.
Artificial intelligence — including technologies like ChatGPT and Dall-E — refers to a range of applications of machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing that can substitute or complement human tasks. Those can range from writing and drawing to providing customer service and driving cars.
While about half of workers in the professional, scientific and technical services sector face a high degree of exposure to AI, only 14% of them say the cons outweigh the pros, Pew found. Similarly, tech and finance workers with high levels of exposure were relatively unfazed.
However, industries with less exposure to AI, like retail trade and transportation, were more likely to say that AI will hurt them more than help. Just 14% of workers in hospitality, services and arts think AI will be beneficial for them, the survey found.
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