AI-threatened jobs are mostly held by women, study shows

  • AI
  • Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Revelio Labs identified jobs that are most likely to be replaced by AI based on a study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research. — Dreamstime/TNS

While artificial intelligence is seeding upheaval across the workforce, from screenwriters to financial advisors, the technology will disproportionately replace jobs typically held by women, according to human resources analytics firm Revelio Labs.

“The distribution of genders across occupations reflects the biases deeply rooted in our society, with women often being confined to roles such as administrative assistants and secretaries,” said Hakki Ozdenoren, economist at Revelio Labs. “Consequently, the impact of AI becomes skewed along gender lines.”

Revelio Labs identified jobs that are most likely to be replaced by AI based on a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. They then identified the gender breakdown of those jobs and found that many of them are generally held by women, such as bill and account collectors, payroll clerks and executive secretaries.

Advances in AI are aggravating gender disparity in the global workforce, where companies are considering cutting some staff and leveraging generative AI in their workflow. International Business Machines Corp recently said it’s slowing down hiring for roles that can be easily replaced by AI in back-office functions, such as human resources. Chief executive officer Arvind Krishna predicts as many as 30% of these positions could be replaced by automation over five years, potentially resulting in a loss of around 7,800 jobs.

AI is more likely to take over repetitive jobs, the kind that are mostly held by women. For example, OpenAI Inc’s ChatGPT model can search, review and summarise large volumes of text quickly, tasks that would normally take paralegals much longer to accomplish. In recruitment, AI can automate the process of sorting through resumes, a task that used to require more people, Ozdenoren said.

But it doesn’t mean that other highly-skilled workers can feel secure about their jobs. Preliminary research also shows that generative AI may impact high-wage occupations more than non-traditional manufacturing jobs, according to Revelio Labs.

“Moving forward, providing retraining opportunities will be key for women to navigate the evolving job landscape,” Ozdenoren said. “By doing so, we can capitalise on the potential of AI while leveraging their valuable skills and expertise,” he said. – Bloomberg/Tribune News Service

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