The Wall Street Journal, Real Time Economics Newsletter: How Would We Know if a Recession Started? | Burning Glass Technologies

“Researchers at International Business Machines say they have uncovered evidence that artificial intelligence has begun to displace some workers, albeit quite slowly.

  • Company researchers looked at some 170 million job postings provided by Burning Glass Technologies, a job placement and review site. They classified the tasks required by each job by ease of replacement by machine learning, a field of artificial intelligence that mimics human decision making.
  • Between 2010 and 2017, among occupations where tasks are most suitable to machine learning, such as scheduling and credential verification, the number of tasks demanded fell 4.3, whereas in occupations less suited to machine learning such as teamwork, collaboration, presentation and design the number of tasks demanded fell only 2.9. (The average occupation involves 19 tasks.)
  • The study attributes the faster drop in the first category to “early adoption of AI and machine learning.”  But they also note the process thus far has been modest, likely because “AI, cloud infrastructure, natural language processing, and other related technologies [are] in early stages of deployment.”

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