Since ChatGPT was released to the world in November 2022, it has already impacted jobs and job roles., and has triggered a regular debate on roles that are vulnerable to replacement.
Over time, various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) are expected to take over many of humans’ jobs. Is that a scary proposition? Will it create large-scale unemployment?
Has ChatGPT Already Replaced Job Roles?
Research from Resume Builder, conducted via a survey of 1,000 business leaders in the United States, found that:
- 48% of companies using ChatGPT have already replaced workers
- an additional 30% of companies plan to start using ChatGPT
- 25% of the companies claim that ChatGPT has already saved them more than $75,000
- 93% of surveyed users plan to expand the scope of their use cases for ChatGPT
While it appears that ChatGPT is still in the early stages of eliminating job roles, its impact on industries is undeniable — and growing. Industry leaders are definitely bullish about the potential of ChatGPT. In the future, it will play a critical role in the business processes of multiple organizations across the globe.
What is Unique About ChatGPT?
The ChatGPT is being trained by vast volumes of data and machine learning algorithms to emulate human behavior — it is not your typical answering tool that responds to questions in a robotic and templatized way. Depending on your prompts, it can respond in a formal, witty, angry, or conversational tone.
For example, it can write a poem or explain how an Application Programming Interface (API) works in a way that a 5-year-old can understand, let alone write and audit code.
While previously ChatGPT was limited to information about the world up to September 2021, OpenAI announced the removal of the restriction in September 2023 — offering another new world of potential.
ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It is no longer limited to data before September 2021. pic.twitter.com/pyj8a9HWkB
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) September 27, 2023
Which Job Roles are the Most Vulnerable?
Job roles that are repetitive and require minimal creativity and thinking are the most vulnerable. By that criteria, some of the below sectors will likely be affected. Note that the list is not exhaustive, with ChatGPT potentially disrupting many industries.
Data Entry and Data Processing
Technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can efficiently — and tirelessly — perform many types of data entry and data processing jobs in large volumes, perhaps operating at unsocial hours, aka the graveyard shift.
Customer Service and Support
Many organizations have been using AI chatbots and automated marketing tools for their target audience, often appearing in the bottom corner while browsing the web. While chatbots have limitations, they have moved much further from a decade ago, when they were primarily limited to following a template or script.
Accounting and Bookkeeping
AI-powered software can perform tasks such as financial reporting, invoicing, and tax computation and preparation, and accountancy and bookkeeping roles may be vulnerable. However, ChatGPT is far from performing more complex tasks like those of chartered accountants.
Roles that are Least or Not Vulnerable
When prompted, “Will you replace jobs?” ChatGPT responded, “As an AI language model, I aim to assist humans in various tasks, such as answering questions, generating text, and providing language-related services.
“However, I am not designed to replace human jobs, but rather to augment and enhance human capabilities by providing them with the information they need to make better decisions and complete their tasks more efficiently.
“While AI and automation are changing the nature of work, it is important to note that they are tools to be used by humans and not a replacement for human skills and expertise. The ultimate goal is to create a symbiotic relationship between humans and machines, where each can complement the other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Will you lose your job to ChatGPT? It depends on how you use ChatGPT and if your skillset can outperform an LLM.
ChatGPT doesn’t have qualities such as emotions, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, strategizing, problem-solving, and leadership. It is being fed and trained with vast volumes of data through machine learning, but the above qualities are unique to human beings. So, roles like content strategists, data scientists, communications specialists, psychologists, and organizational behavioral specialists are unlikely to be replaced. At the most, these roles will extensively use ChatGPT as an ally that can provide data and make suggestions.
ChatGPT can and will replace specific job roles, but the effects will be far from catastrophic. The key is understanding how to operate the tool and its capabilities and evolve within our roles.
Organizations are profit-driven and will look to optimize their profits. But we need to upskill and harness unique human talents to the maximum and find ways to evolve and improve our value proposition.
While in times of volatility and AI, no job can be considered secure, constant evolution, upskilling, and providing values remain the best ways to stay ahead of AI.