A recent study conducted in Europe has challenged the fears that artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly replace human workers in various industries. Contrary to popular belief, the data collected over the past 20 years shows that occupations exposed to AI […]
A recent study conducted in Europe has challenged the fears that artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly replace human workers in various industries. Contrary to popular belief, the data collected over the past 20 years shows that occupations exposed to AI technology have actually experienced an increase in employment. The findings provide valuable insights into the intersection of technology and labor markets.
The study focuses on the years between 2000 and 2010 when AI implementation primarily involved deep learning and machine learning models. “During those years, AI was mainly based on deep learning and machine learning models,” stated Stefania Albanesi, an economics professor at the University of Miami, during an interview on BNN Bloomberg television. She emphasized that these AI technologies differ from recent advancements like large language models such as ChatGPT. However, the data still offers informative glimpses into the potential future of work.
Contrary to the anticipated trend, the report discovered that occupations potentially exposed to AI-enabled technologies have actually witnessed increased employment participation across Europe in the “deep learning boom” of the 2010s. The study analyzed data from 16 European countries and revealed that the jobs created were primarily targeted towards young workers with high skills, especially college graduates. This challenges the pattern observed during the previous major technological advancement—the launch and expansion of the internet—which led to a decline in routine administrative and production jobs.
“This time around, with the early phase of AI expansion over the past 20 years, we have seen employment growth instead,” Albanesi explained. The report further showed that AI exposure had no significant impact on employment figures for workers with low and medium skills. However, for occupations requiring highly skilled workers, a “positive and significant correlation” was identified. Exposure to AI technology increased employment participation by 3.1% according to one measurement cited in the report, and by 6.7% according to another measurement.
Technological advancements have historically generated concerns about job displacement, and this study underscores the ongoing fear surrounding AI. However, the report highlights that previous worries about excessive redundancy in the workforce have been exaggerated. Albanesi noted that until recently, AI technology was primarily focused on replacing routine and repetitive tasks. Nevertheless, she cautions that the emergence of large language models poses a potential risk as they have the capacity to replace non-routine jobs, which constitute a significant portion of the workforce.
While the risks should not be overlooked, it does not necessarily imply an overall reduction in available job opportunities. The technology can also generate new positions that align with the capabilities enabled by these advancements. Embracing the potential for growth and adaptation in response to AI is essential in navigating the evolving landscape of work.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What does the study reveal about AI’s impact on employment in Europe?
The study indicates that occupations exposed to AI-enabled technologies in Europe have, contrary to concerns, experienced an increase in employment. This applies especially to highly skilled workers.
Q: Are there any specific industries targeted by AI?
The report does not delve into specific industries, but it does highlight that the jobs created in response to AI technologies are primarily aimed at younger workers with higher educational qualifications.
Q: Does the study address concerns about job displacement due to AI?
Yes, the study acknowledges the historical fear of job displacement caused by technological advancements but emphasizes that previous concerns about excessive redundancy have been overstated. The report suggests that the overall impact on job availability may not be negative and that AI can generate new job opportunities.