(Bloomberg) — Advanced AI systems are likely to threaten jobs primarily in the financial, legal and technology sectors, according to the latest MLIV Pulse survey.
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What’s most surprising about the findings: More than two-thirds of the 292 respondents said they don’t see their job as risky any time soon, even though they work predominantly in the financial sector.
Artificial intelligence has been developed in some way for decades. But in recent months, a surge in interest in so-called generative AI, especially OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E products, has sparked widespread enthusiasm among investors who believe it could also generate huge financial rewards.
Participants in the MLIV Pulse survey were almost evenly divided on whether these types of technologies are worth investing in. There was a clear lack of professional use of any type of AI by the majority of investors, with just 12% saying they have used one and just 27% saying they intended to. More than half of all respondents said they don’t even consider using AI to help them invest.
This contrasts sharply with the recent rallies seen in the market for advanced AI-related companies, fueled in part by widespread advertising of ChatGPT and Microsoft Corp.’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI, its developer. Companies like BuzzFeed Inc., C3.ai Inc., SoundHound AI Inc., and BigBear.ai Holdings Inc. are among the stocks that have seen huge jumps in volume, along with wild swings in their stock prices.
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Companies and investors are racing to become household names in technology that can create text- and image-like media from simple tips or hold human-like conversations on a wide variety of topics, from whether a cat would win a brawl with an eagle, to practical considerations about world events or school projects. Microsoft is facing the likes of Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. as they work to bring the smartest AI tools to the greatest number of people.
However, the promise of tools like ChatGPT leaves room for desire by some investors, with just 49% of respondents saying they plan to buy stocks with exposure to such AI tools. Overall, some 41% of all respondents said they plan to increase exposure to technology stocks more broadly, while 38% said they would remain stable over the next six months.
Even before the current wave of interest in AI, the question of whether intelligent automation will create more opportunities than it replaces has been a hot topic for both workers and businesses (not to mention the Pentagon and of the UK government). In 2023, many of the companies making unprecedented job cuts are also investing billions in developing their AI capabilities.
In January, Alphabet announced 12,000 job cuts globally, but at the same time Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai singled out artificial intelligence as a key investment area. Similarly, Microsoft announced its $10 billion investment in OpenAI just days after it said it would lay off 10,000 employees. Neither company is unique in this respect.
“There are very interesting AI wars coming between tech companies,” University of Southampton computer science professor Wendy Hall told Bloomberg TV.
For more analysis of the markets, see the MLIV blog.
–With assistance from Alicia Diaz.
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