Research Highlights

How Will Language Modelers like ChatGPT Affect Occupations and Industries?

Robert Seamans

Overview: In “How Will Language Modelers like ChatGPT Affect Occupations and Industries?,” NYU Stern Professor Robert Seamans, NYU Stern alumnus Manav Raj (PhD '23) of Wharton, and Edward W. Felten of Princeton, assess how Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacts certain industries, and which jobs face the most exposure as AI continues to develop.

Why study this now: AI capabilities are becoming increasingly advanced. With increased capabilities comes increased impact on the daily lives of humans, including but not limited to human ability to work, the economy, and more. A recent and noteworthy example of this is the potential of AI language modeler ChatGPT to affect occupations and entire industries. Which jobs are most susceptible to these new AI tools?

What the researchers found: Using a methodology called AI Occupational Exposure (AIOE), the researchers found that:

  • Jobs most exposed to advances in language modeling are telemarketers and post-secondary teachers such as English language and literature, foreign language and literature, and history teachers
  • Industries most exposed to advances in language modeling are legal services and securities, commodities, and investments 
  • Jobs with higher wages are more likely to be exposed to rapid advances in technology like ChatGPT

Key Insight: The research helps study the effects of AI on work and labor, and provides a greater understanding of how language modelers like ChatGPT will affect certain occupations, industries, and geographies. These findings may help policymakers who are thinking about how to assist occupations that will be most affected by advances in AI, as well as help managers who are looking to assess how exposed their company or industry may be to these technologies. 

“AI will likely affect the economy in many ways, potentially boosting economic growth and changing the way people work and play,” said the authors. “The effect of AI on work will likely be multi-faceted.”