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8M UK Jobs At Risk Of AI ‘Job Apocalypse’

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An analysis of the possible effects of AI on the UK labor market may be found in a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The report issues a dire warning of an impending “job apocalypse” that could destroy over eight million careers nationwide if quick government action is not taken.

Two crucial phases of generative AI adoption are identified in the report. Eleven percent of the jobs completed by UK workers are exposed in the first wave, which is now in progress. The most vulnerable jobs are organizational ones like scheduling and routine cognitive ones like database administration.

But in a possible second wave, AI would be able to do an astounding 59% of tasks, which would affect higher-paying jobs as well as non-routine cognitive skills like database creation.

Senior Research Fellow at IPPR Bhargav Srinivasa Desikan stated: “We could see jobs like copywriters, graphic designers, and personal assistants being heavily affected by AI.” How can we manage technology advancement to provide new employment possibilities, boost productivity, and benefit the economy as a whole?

“Policymakers must quickly devise a plan to ensure that our labor market changes to the 21st century without leaving millions behind. We are in the midst of a sliding doors moment. It is imperative that these technology developments benefit all workers, not only the large tech companies.

Three scenarios were modeled by IPPR regarding the impact of the second wave:

Worst scenario: no GDP growth and the loss of 7.9 million jobs
Central case: GDP grows by 6.3% annually, but 4.4 million jobs are destroyed. (£144 billion/year)
Best case scenario: No jobs lost and an annual GDP boost of 12% (or £306 billion) from adding at-risk jobs
IPPR urges a “job-centric” AI policy with financial incentives, regulations guaranteeing human oversight, and support for green jobs less susceptible to automation, warning that the worst-case scenario of displacement is feasible in the absence of government intervention.

The report emphasizes how particular categories are disproportionately affected by job displacement, with women and young people suffering the most. These demographics are primarily employed in entry-level employment, which are most at risk from AI’s encroachment on jobs like secretarial and customer service positions.

“Technological transition can be a boon if well managed, or can end in disruption if left to unfold without controls,” stated Carsten Jung, Senior Economist at IPPR. Indeed, generative AI may pose a serious threat to a number of professions, starting with back office positions.

However, government, companies, and unions have the chance to make important design choices now that guarantee we manage this new technology wisely. As such, technology is not destiny, and the end of the employment market is not inevitable. It might be too late if they don’t take action quickly.