Artificial intelligence is accompanied by the emergence of a whole new phobia in the world of work, FOBO. It is about the fear, not necessarily irrational or unfounded, of being replaced by a machine. This fear is spreading massively as ChatGPT and others become popular…
The rise of artificial intelligence worries workers. According to a study carried out by the Gallup polling institute, more and more people fear that chatbots like ChatGPT, Google Bard or Claude from Anthropic will end up replacing them.
Gallup researchers have given a name to this new phobia, the FOBOFor “Fear of being obsolete”either the fear of becoming obsolete in French. According to the report, 22% of American workers fear that artificial intelligence will soon be able to supplant them.
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A fear that spreads
The proportion of worried workers has increased significantly in recent years, the study highlights. Two years earlier, only 15% were worried about the emergence of AI. No doubt the population of language models, like OpenAI’s GPT, has helped accelerate the trend.
“The introduction of ChatGPT last year appears to be the obvious catalyst for workers’ concern about the threat technology poses to job security,” explains Lydia Saad, director of Gallup in the United States, to Axios.
According to several studies, the fears of those surveyed are not unfounded. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that 27% of professions will be profoundly changed by artificial intelligence. In addition, 10% of current professions are simply likely to disappear. For its part, Goldman Sachs bank expects that 300 million jobs worldwide will be replaced by AI in the near future.
Some workers are increasingly worried
The FOBO has especially increased among workers who have been superior Studies. Between 2021 and 2023, the rate of worried individuals increased from 8 to 20%, or more than double. On the other hand, the concern perceived by workers remained stable (24%). The rise of language models, and generative AI, is more likely to transform office work, such as administrative jobs, than physical work. This, however, will be shaken up by intelligent automation.
Clearly, the arrival of ChatGPT and others has profoundly changed the perception office workers. They are gradually realizing the infinite possibilities offered by AI… and understanding that part of their tasks can be carried out by a chatbot.
“It’s no longer just robots replacing humans in warehouses and on assembly lines, but online programs doing sophisticated language-based work, including writing computer code”summarizes Gallup in the study’s conclusion.
Despite the dazzling advances in AI, only one in four workers believe the threat to their jobs is imminent. However, ChatGPT has already resulted in the dismissal of some workers in the United States. For the moment, these are mainly web editors and advertisers.
The findings of the investigation also highlight the generation gap that separates workers over AI. Young people, aged between 18 and 34, are more worried about the rise of technology than their elders.
Faced with growing concern, OpenAI, the start-up behind ChatGPT, wants to be reassuring. According to Sam Altman, CEO of the company, AI will indeed cause the elimination of certain jobs, but it will also allow “new categories” professions to see the light of day. Confident, he assures that no one will want ” go back “.