Economist touts business advantages of AI automation | News, Sports, Jobs

From left, Joseph Briggs, economist from Goldman Sachs, receives a souvenir jacket from Kristopher Justice, chairman of the Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley, at Marietta Country Club Tuesday. Briggs gave a lecture about the potential economic impact of generative AI to attendees. (Photo by Kristen Hainkel)

MARIETTA — Generative artificial intelligence has the potential to automate up to 25% of work tasks in a day, said Goldman Sachs senior economist Joseph Briggs during a lecture at the Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley Tuesday.

The estimate comes from a report Goldman Sachs compiled, where researchers took task data of over 900 occupations in the United States and classified them in 13 categories. Then they evaluated the potential of each task to be completed by generative AI.

Briggs said this estimate doesn’t equate to potential job loss.

“That by no means, means that 25% of jobs are going to go away. That’s not our view. I want to emphasize that,” he said.

Briggs said generative AI can save time for workers.

“The way of working with generative AI impacting the economy is mostly by saving people time, and allowing you to put that time to use for more productive activities,” he said.

Briggs said the expansion of generative AI within the past decade has allowed the technology to become more accessible to the public.

“To use AI, you had to basically frame a question, go to a software engineer or data scientist, ask them to post the question to the model, get the results interpreted back to you and tell you the answer to your question,” he said. “Today, anyone can use generative AI. You can download ChatGPT on your phone.”

Briggs asked the audience if they have any questions or comments about generative AI related to their professions.

Mark Miller, advisor to the provost at Marietta College, said professors check if students are using AI to correct their papers. He also said he wonders how AI will affect a student’s ability to conduct research.

“You don’t want generative AI to have the potential to undermine the education process,” Briggs said. “There’s a lot of value in struggling through academic papers and reading reports from industries to really learn about what’s happening,”

Kristopher Justice, chairman of the Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley, said that he was impressed with Briggs’s presentation.

“I thought it was terrific,” he said. “AI is an emerging technology that won’t go away. We need to learn more about it.”

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