Human resources, accounting and banking are among the professions most exposed to the impacts of generative AI tools, according to a new report by the Future Skills Organisation.
The report, published on Friday, found occupations requiring more cognitive and sensory skills are likely to be more heavily impacted by generative AI than those that predominantly require physical skills.
It means a greater proportion of the skills developed through university qualifications and higher-level vocational education and training qualifications will be exposed to the impacts of generative AI.
Future Skills Organisation (FSO) chief executive Patrick Kidd said the report findings will help identify skills gaps in training programs and guide improvements to ensure they are fit for purpose.
“These findings allow us to more clearly understand the current and emerging influences and trends impacting the VET system, allowing us to equip training providers and students with the skills to harness this potential rather than be passive bystanders,” Mr Kidd said.
“Ultimately, our core mission is to close the skills gap facing Australia’s finance, technology and business sectors. We want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support all Australians with the skills to succeed for work, learning and life, and we must factor AI into our mission.”
The report was produced in partnership with economic consultancy Mandala Partners using GPT-4 API, a generative AI tool. Using estimates of the impact of generative AI on human abilities, the data was mapped onto categories of skills to calculate the impact at an occupation, qualification and unit of competency level.
The FSO is one of the federal government’s 10 Jobs and Skills councils focusing on the development of skills for the finance, technology, and business sectors.
The report argues that full automation of routine tasks and manual jobs “will likely take longer to occur” as existing generative AI tools face issues around “legibility and hallucination”.
However, the augmentation of tasks through the use of AI as a co-pilot assisting in writing, translation, research and software development “will be occurring now”, the report said.
Within the FSO’s sectors of focus, the report found that existing training packages for financial services and for business services were most exposed to generative AI followed by ICT. The most exposed occupations include HR, accounting, banking, and marketing and communications.
With peak bodies like Ai Group and Australian Computer Society estimating that Australia will need to fill more tech roles than previous thought, the FSO believe there is a need to ensure training programs are used to fill these roles.
The Tech Council estimates that existing generative AI can automate 22 per cent of task-hours across the economy and can simplify the same proportion of task-hours. It also projects that the technology could be worth up to $115 billion to the Australian economy annually by 2030.
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