The fear of robots claiming jobs has been around much longer than artificial intelligence services like ChatGPT or Bard, but that risk seems more real than ever — especially in certain fields.
Academic researchers from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and New York University recently analyzed “the extent to which occupations, industries and geographies are exposed to advances in AI language modeling capabilities,” according to a new paper. Those capabilities include writing essays and computer code and — perhaps unfortunately — applying for jobs.
The study builds on similar research from 2021 and identifies jobs which have the most potential to be affected by AI such as ChatGPT. Researchers use the term “exposure” when describing how AI will interact with occupations, and they note that exposure could mean “substitution or augmentation depending on various factors.”
Following are several jobs that, researchers say, may be impacted by recent advances in technology.
Clinical, counseling and school psychologists are among the occupations research suggests will be affected the most by the latest AI technology. This line of work also appeared in the 2021 version of this study but was ranked higher then — suggesting they might hang on longer than previously thought or that other jobs are in greater jeopardy.
The median pay for psychologists is about $81,000, and the field is expected to grow about as fast as other fields through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Judges “arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law,” according to the federal government. That can involve a variety of activities, ranging from sentencing criminals to performing wedding ceremonies. They make about $154,000 per year, on average.
Researchers suggest AI may be ready to play judge and job executioner, if not the jury.
Arbitrators differ from judges in both pay — about $49,000 per year, typically — and job responsibilities. They “facilitate negotiation and dialogue between disputing parties to help resolve conflicts outside of the court system.”
This line of work hasn’t put judges out of a job, but experts believe AI could impact both.
The work of political scientists ranges from conducting research on international relations and public policy to forecasting economic and social trends. The Bureau of Labor Statistics — which likely employs plenty of them — expects this field to grow as fast as average through 2031.
Unlike the jobs mentioned earlier, political scientists were not on the AI chopping block in the 2021 version of the study.
Sociologists research social trends and the impact of new laws on various groups of people. Their work is often helpful to people who write laws. A typical wage for sociologists is about $93,000.
While K-12 teachers aren’t ranked as the type of job most at risk from ChatGPT and similar technology, those who work in higher education are particularly well represented on the study’s top 20 list. Postsecondary teachers in the all the following areas are mentioned:
- English and Literature
- Foreign Language
- Philosophy and Religion
- Political Science
- Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
- Social Work
- Cultural Studies
- Library Science
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, predicts a dramatic 12% increase in the number of postsecondary teachers through 2031, with the strongest growth among teachers in nursing, engineering and health specialties.
The job most likely to be impacted by AI is one that was already on a downward trajectory.
The number of telemarketing jobs is expected to decline by 18% through 2031, making it one of the fastest-declining occupations even without any help from ChatGPT, according to federal estimates.