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Here's how many U.S. workers ChatGPT says it could replace

AI could replace millions of U.S. jobs
Artificial intelligence could replace millions of jobs in the U.S. 03:18

ChatGPT appears to be smart enough to recognize that artificial intelligence poses a threat to workers' livelihoods. 

Global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas recently asked the "generative AI" tool, developed by research firm OpenAI, in plain English how many workers it expects to replace. The answer: 4.8 million American jobs.

That will do little to allay concerns among employees and policymakers about the potential for chatbots and large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Dall-E to displace workers. That is no idle fear: Goldman Sachs estimated in a recent report that 18% of jobs globally could eventually be eliminated by AI technology

Currently, ChatGPT is most widely used to support workers in a range of industries, helping them complete tasks that still require human judgment. 

"Godfather of artificial intelligence" talks impact and potential of new AI 08:17

"Right now, artificial intelligence should be viewed as a tool to support workers and not as a replacement for their roles. Certainly, predictive language models can be used to automate tasks, giving workers more time to focus on those involving higher thinking," senior vice president Andrew Challenger said in a statement. 

The outplacement firm also asked the LLM another straightforward question: "What jobs can ChatGPT replace?" It answered that its capabilities make it best suited to take over roles that are centered on language and that are repetitive and predictable. ChatGPT predicted that LLMs could one day replace workers in the following roles:

  • Customer service representatives
  • Technical writers
  • Translators and interpreters
  • Copywriters
  • Data entry clerks

Fields that ChatGPT sees itself as most capable of entering include:

  • Data science
  • Machine learning
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Robotics and automation
  • Business

To be sure, as with past cycles of innovation, tools like ChatGPT could potentially create more jobs than it eliminates. The technology has already created demand for people in at least one new area — prompt engineering. A range of companies in AI, health care and the legal field are hiring so-called prompt engineers to train LLMs to deliver more useful, tailored responses to their inputs. 

One job listing for a prompt engineer describes the role as an "art" that's "a hybrid between programming, instructing and teaching. These kinds of roles tend to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, and don't require any coding experience. 

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