In a recently released study, the Central Bank has sounded a warning bell, revealing that nearly four million jobs in South Korea could be under threat due to the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The report, which has triggered global concern, sheds light on the potential consequences of AI adoption for the South Korean job market.
The Central Bank comprehensive study, unveiled on Thursday, underscores the growing apprehension over the impact of AI technology on various aspects of society, including job displacement, cyber threats, and concerns about human control over increasingly autonomous systems.
According to the study, approximately 3.9 million jobs within South Korea are at risk as AI adoption continues to gain traction domestically. Among the most vulnerable professions are doctors, lawyers, accountants, and chemists, who find themselves on the front lines of AI’s encroachment into the workforce.
The report highlights a distinct pattern, where high-income workers with extensive academic backgrounds face the highest risk of being replaced by AI. This vulnerability arises from the fact that AI systems are well-equipped to perform analytical and cognitive tasks typically associated with these white-collar jobs.
“High-income workers with high academic backgrounds face bigger exposure to AI and have a greater risk of being replaced,” the study noted.
While white-collar jobs bear the brunt of the AI threat, the report also provides some relief by identifying sectors less likely to succumb to automation. Workers in religious fields, food services, and education, particularly teaching, appear to be less susceptible to job displacement by AI.
The Central Bank report underscores that, despite the looming threat of job displacement, AI technology simultaneously creates new employment opportunities. These opportunities are particularly prevalent for engineers specializing in AI development and maintenance, as well as individuals involved in AI-related start-ups.
However, the report sounds a note of caution by pointing out that the emergence of these new positions is highly concentrated within a specific field. This concentration may pose challenges for workers transitioning into AI-related roles as they contend with the introduction of automation.
In summary, South Korea stands at a crossroads as it grapples with the dual implications of AI technology. While the advancement of AI has the potential to revolutionize industries and create new job opportunities, it also carries the imminent threat of displacing millions of jobs, particularly those in high-income, highly-educated professions.
As the nation navigates this transformative era, policymakers, businesses, and workers alike will need to adapt and innovate to secure their place in a rapidly evolving job market.