While AI’s impact on the labour market has been limited so far, concerns about job security are heightened, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found.
To assess the emerging opinions around artificial intelligence in the workplace, the OECD surveyed over 2,000 employers and 5,300 workers in finance and manufacturing across seven of its member countries.
The survey showed that three in five employees working in these sectors fear they’ll be replaced by AI in the next decade. Two in five are worried about AI-related wage decreases.
Overall, jobs with the highest risk of automation (those relying on more than 25 out of the 100 skills considered easily automable) account for 27% of the labour force in the 38 OECD countries. The most exposed among them are Eastern European nations, including Hungary, the Slovak Republic, Czechia, and Poland.
On the bright side, 63% of the respondents said AI has increased their enjoyment at work, by automating, for instance, dangerous or tedious tasks. Eight in ten employees have seen their performance improve, and a little over 50% said AI has boosted their mental health. Around the same number of employers reported that artificial intelligence can help disabled workers.
But despite the positive feedback, a number of tangible concerns remain. These include not only job loss, but also work intensification and ethical challenges.
The OECD is urging its member countries to act fast and ensure that AI’s benefits in the workplace outweigh the risks. It stresses the need for training programmes and — most importantly — policies to facilitate AI’s deployment in a responsible, trustworthy, and unbiased way.