Amid growing interest and reliance on artificial intelligence (AI), especially generative AI systems like ChatGPT, Nobel Prize winner and economics professor at the London School of Economics Christopher Pissarides has urged young people considering their career paths to place value in creative and other “empathetic” skills and vocations.
The labour market economist sees there being a demand for skills outside of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with creativity potentially thriving in a world dominated by AI.
He added that certain IT workers jobs risk sowing their “own seeds of self-destruction“ by developing AI at such a rapid pace that it will replace their own roles in the future.
Directing his comments particularly at school leavers, Pissarides expressed optimism about how AI could impact the job market but advised young people not to rush into STEM careers as a means of benefitting off of the recent rapid developments in AI.
The professor continued to say that, despite accelerated demand for STEM skills at the moment, jobs that necessitate empathy and social skills, such as those in healthcare, will continue to remain critical to the job market.
Such roles will not be replaceable by AI, whereas many STEM-oriented positions could potentially be filled by AI technology in the future, he warned.
Governments around the world have become increasingly keen to regulate big tech and the use of generative AI systems, with the UK recently hosting a global AI safety summit. This led to the world’s first international AI safety pact.
A recent survey conducted by Amazon Web Services and Access Partnership revealed that 73% of employers said they considered AI skills a hiring priority, while 75% have been unable to find those with the required training to fill these roles.
The survey of 3,297 employees and 1,340 employers from across the US was conducted between August and September 2023, with the vast majority of firms (92%) planning to introduce AI into regular company procedures by 2028.