The combination of generative artificial intelligence and machine learning could as much as double U.S. economic productivity and add trillions of dollars to global GDP after a decade of greater and greater adoption, some analysts have predicted.

However, the skills that AI will automate will take jobs from the knowledge workers that came to the fore in the 1990s.

Developers are creating AIs that can read, comprehend, and summarize legal documents, medical reports, and scientific papers. Bots can create essays, reports, computer code, photos and videos, and compose music.

Those skills put at risk the careers of lawyers and paralegals, healthcare workers, reporters, programmers, and artists, to name only a few.

Actors and writers striking in Hollywood have made an issue of AI’s ability not only to write scripts for movies and television programs, but also to replicate actors’ voices, appearances, and mannerisms for use in programs and films without need of the live person.

An AI called Smart Summaries can search, digest, and summarize financial documents in bullet points—“the kind of thing that junior analysts or business professionals would have done manually,” CEO Jack Kokko at AlphaSense, which developed the AI, explained to The Wall Street Journal

Morgan Stanley has deployed an AI that enables thousands of its workers to search for content in more than 100,000 corporate documents. That saves time, which also happens to erase the need for so many employees.

Now that no scientist can keep up with necessary literature in any given specialty, AI can find and cherry-pick the information a researcher needs and suggest new directions for investigation, Jim Weatherall, vice president for data science at drugmaker AstraZeneca, said to the WSJ

In a June report, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 75 percent of generative AI’s value will focus on customer service, marketing and sales, research and development, and software engineering.

That would translate to anywhere from $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion in value annually, McKinsey estimated.

“A boost of this size would roughly double the recent pace of U.S. productivity growth and would be about the same size of the boost that followed the emergence of prior transformative technologies like the electric motor and personal computer,” Joseph Briggs, Goldman’s senior global economist, said in a WSJ interview.

Goldman Sachs has calculated that generative AI could raise the world’s productivity by 1.5 percentage points annually—equivalent to adding 36 minutes to every work day in a 40-hour week, the bank said. However, that would involve AI taking over as much as 25 percent of U.S. work.

Would that eliminate 25 percent of current U.S. jobs?

“We will not run out of jobs,” MIT economist David Autor told the WSJ. “It’s a question of whether we will have jobs that make use of scarce skills where people are valuable or whether we have jobs that are much more menial.”

TRENDPOST: No one doubts that AI will eliminate not only jobs, but also entire career fields.

The new jobs AI creates will demand skills different from those that displaced workers have.

Companies, community colleges, public schools, and government programs will need to be ready to launch widespread retraining programs to re-skill the workforce to meet the rapidly unfolding demands of an AI economy.

Governments also will need to confront the question of ongoing support, including possibly a guaranteed income, for those this new reality leaves behind.

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