J.P. Gownder, VP, Principal Analyst and Michael O’Grady, Principal Forecast Analyst
Concerns that automation and artificial intelligence could replace human workers aren’t new. In fact, Forrester’s produced forecasts on the impact of automation on workers for quite some time. But generative AI (genAI) is different from automation and even other AI in that its abilities are more visible and tangible. In this episode VP and Principal Analyst J. P. Gownder and Principal Analyst Michael O’Grady discuss a new forecast that looks at how genAI will impact jobs and workers in the US.
The concern about job losses from automation and AI is significant. Gownder says a recent Forrester survey found 36% of workers polled fear losing their jobs to automation or AI in the next 10 years. But the truth is, many more jobs will be influenced by genAI than will be lost. O’Grady explains that the new forecast finds that the percentage of jobs that will be lost to genAI in the US by 2030 (1.5% or 2.4 million) will be much lower than those that are influenced by generative AI (6.9% or 11.08 million). So workers should be more focused on how to leverage the technology than how to compete with it.
Which jobs and roles will be most influenced by generative AI? Gownder says college-educated workers have more potential to be affected by genAI because the type of work they do is the type of work a large language model is good at. Specifically, roles like technical writers and programmers are most likely to be impacted. “If you’re doing anything written, if you’re doing any mathematical or memorization … science, critical thinking, then you’re probably going to find these tools very useful,” O’Grady says.
Gownder provides some insight on genAI’s impact on creative roles, saying the quality of creative content produced by AI today doesn’t match the creativity of humans. “You can use them to mock up some ideas, but ultimately it will be a human that will turn it into something creative,” he says. The industries that will be most impacted by genAI include the legal profession and IT and other professional services industries.
The episode closes with each analyst providing their perspectives on where genAI will be a year from now and whether they think the latest forecast will hold up, so be sure to stay tuned for that.