Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT and the future of work

Posted on Friday, 31 March 2023
Main Image
AI and jobs
Page Content

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted surveys of both employers and workers to understand the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the workplace. Here are some of the main findings from the surveys:


  1. Increased productivity: Employers reported that AI has helped to increase productivity in their organizations. The majority of employers (nearly 70%) reported that AI has led to moderate or significant productivity gains.

  2. New types of jobs: While AI is expected to automate some jobs, it is also creating new types of jobs. Over 50% of employers reported that AI has led to the creation of new job categories in their organizations.

  3. Upskilling and reskilling: AI is also leading to a need for upskilling and reskilling among workers. Over 60% of employers reported that AI has created a need for new skills in their organizations.

  4. Improved decision-making: AI is helping employers make better decisions. Nearly 60% of employers reported that AI has led to better decision-making in their organizations.

  5. Worker anxiety: While workers generally have positive attitudes towards AI, there is some anxiety about the impact on jobs. Nearly 60% of workers are concerned about job displacement due to AI, and nearly 50% are concerned about the impact on job quality.

  6. Support for training: Both employers and workers support training programs to help workers develop the skills needed for the AI-driven workplace. Over 70% of employers and workers support government investment in training programs.

Overall, the surveys suggest that AI is having a positive impact on the workplace in terms of productivity gains and new job opportunities. However, it is also leading to a need for upskilling and reskilling among workers, and there is some anxiety about the impact on jobs. Both employers and workers support training programs to help workers adapt to the changing workplace.



Every word of this article up to now was written by ChatGPT in a fraction of the time it took to read them. ChatGPT an artificial intelligence tool that allows for human like conversations by using natural language and it learns as it goes. It is being used more and more to assist with the writing of emails, code, academic essays and as we can see, analysis and website articles.  By simply inputting the title of the piece of research, ChaptGPT was able to produce an analysis in seconds. The tool also "remembers what user said earlier in the conversation, allows user to provide follow-up corrections and is trained to decline inappropriate requests". It also sets out some of the limitations of the tool such as that it "may occasionally generate incorrect information, may occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content and has a limited knowledge of world and events after 2021". 


The Future of Work

A 2019 report by the OECD on Well-being in the Digital Age found that the digital transformation could compound existing socio-economic inequalities, with the benefits in terms of earnings and opportunities accruing to a few, and the risks falling more heavily on people with lower levels of education and skills. The report notes that 14 per cent of all jobs are at high risk of being lost due to automation, with another 32 per cent at risk of significant change over the next 10 to 20 years. This means that nearly half of the labour force will be impacted by changes to their jobs as a result of automation by 2040. The pandemic provided a powerful test of the potential of online learning, and it also revealed its key limitations, including the prerequisite of adequate digital skills, computer equipment and internet connection to undertake training online, the difficulty of delivering traditional work-based learning online, and the struggle of teachers used to classroom instruction. Our training and skills development policy must be adapted to meet this challenge.

in light of the growth and availability of powerful tools like ChatGPT, lifelong learning, up-skilling and re-skilling are becoming more and more important to ensure relevant skills for the labour force as well as making an important contribution to make to people’s wellbeing, to creating a more inclusive society and to supporting a vibrant and sustainable economy. The non-vocational element of lifelong learning and community education also brings major social and health benefits to participants outside the labour force. Access to lifelong learning should be an integral part of the education system in order to address the income and labour market challenges that some members of society face. It also must be accessible and flexible to address the challenges which were identified in the Adult Skills Survey, those of unmet demand and being difficult to access. Various agencies (European Commission, Expert Group on Future Skills Needs) identify generic skills and key competences as a core element of the lifelong learning framework. These include basic skills such as literacy, numeracy, digital competence, language skills, people-related and conceptual skills, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, risk assessment and decision making.



Further Education and Training

The lifelong opportunities of those who are educationally disadvantaged are in sharp contrast to the opportunities for meaningful participation of those who have completed a second or third-level education. If the Constitutionally-enshrined right to education is to be meaningful, there needs to be recognition of the barriers to learning that some children of school-going age experience, particularly in disadvantaged areas, which result in premature exit from education. In this context, second chance education and continuing education are vitally important and require on-going support and resourcing. Although the funding available for education increased in Budgets since 2016, the deficits that exist within the system, particularly as a result of the impact of austerity budgeting, require significant additional resources. This requires the development of a long-term education policy strategy across the whole educational spectrum to ensure that education and continuous upskilling and development of the workforce is prioritised if Ireland is to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace and ensure the availability of sustainable employment. A key policy component must be a review of the age profile of apprenticeships and how this can be expanded (as outlined earlier in this chapter) and the integration of the latest OECD recommendations on training and skills into the National Skills Strategy. Further Education has a key role to play to ensure we meet our lifelong learning targets and it must be supported and resourced to ensure we meet our targets.