Generative AI could replace 300m jobs, Goldman Sachs predicts

29 Mar 2023

Image: © Miljan Živković/

The report claims that roughly two-thirds of all US and European jobs are exposed to ‘some degree of AI automation’, but also highlighted the economic boost these systems could create.

For many years there have been concerns about AI systems taking jobs, but a new report claims up to 300m jobs worldwide could be replaced by generative AI.

A new Goldman Sachs report claims generative AI products such as ChatGPT could cause “significant disruption” to the labour market if they live up to the hype surrounding them.

This report states that roughly two-thirds of jobs in the US and Europe are exposed to “some degree of AI automation”, while generative AI could be used as a substitute to a quarter of current jobs.

“Despite significant uncertainty around the potential of generative AI, its ability to generate content that is indistinguishable from human-created output and to break down communication barriers between humans and machines reflects a major advancement with potentially large macroeconomic effects,” Goldman Sachs said in its analysis.

By taking its estimates to a global scale, the Goldman Sachs report predicts that up to 300m full-time jobs could be lost to generative AI. The report suggests that clerical support workers are most at risk, with 45pc of these roles being exposed.

On the other side of the scale, craft and trade workers are presented as the least exposed in Europe, followed by plant and machine operators.

In the US, a similar trend exists, with office and administration support roles being the most exposed to automation replacement, followed by legal roles.

The report claims that 18pc of all jobs globally are at risk of AI automation, with the risk higher in places such as Hong Kong, Israel and Japan.

Despite the stark figures, the report said most industries are only “partially exposed to automation”, making it more likely that they will be “complemented rather than substituted by AI”.

The Goldman Sachs report also claimed that historic examples of automation replacing jobs also leads to the creation of new roles and occupations.

“The combination of significant labour cost savings, new job creation and higher productivity for non-displaced workers raises the possibility of a productivity boom that raises economic growth substantially, although the timing of such a boom is hard to predict,” the report said.

Earlier this week, Quantive COO Seth Elliott spoke to about how AI can “augment” the productivity of workers, rather than replace them.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic