Academics and many others are intrigued, one might in some cases even say pre-occupied, by the advent of ChatGPT. Will scholarly writing be taken over? Will students learn as much if they rely upon it in their writing? Will instructors be able to discern if a student wrote a paper, or answered questions on a take-home exam, him/herself?
Lucy Moore, Programme Delivery Director, Bloomsbury Digital Resources (at Bloomsbury Publishing) who has since IZA World of Labor’s inception helped shepherd all of its publication aspects, decided to ask ChatGPT to write on the topic: “ChatGPT and the Labor Market in the style of an IZA World of Labor article.”* The result is shown below in quotations, done exactly in the style of our “one-pagers,” a fairly rigid formula but one that imposes constraints on authors’ ability to wander off course.
ChatGPT did not go awry—it stayed beautifully within the bounds of our style; and the writing is both grammatically and stylistically correct. I would not, however, have accepted this one-pager for publication. It is very general and sounds good; but there are no specific conclusions—just talk about general impacts (the term rubbish comes to mind!). Fairly repetitious talk at that, but judge for yourself—I may be a technological troglodyte.
In short, I am not too worried about this issue, at least not in economic writing and economics classes. ChatGPT will be useful, but it does not substitute for creative thought, at least not in economics.
“Title: ChatGPT and its effect on the labor market: Opportunities and challenges
ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI, has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate with machines and enhance productivity in various industries. However, its widespread adoption could also have significant implications for the labor market, leading to the displacement of certain jobs and a shift in the skills demanded by employers. This article explores the opportunities and challenges of ChatGPT’s impact on the labor market.
- Increased productivity: ChatGPT can enhance productivity and efficiency in industries where it is implemented, reducing the time and effort required to perform certain tasks.
- New job opportunities: While ChatGPT may replace certain jobs, it could also create new opportunities for workers with the skills required to operate and maintain these systems.
- Higher wages: By enhancing productivity, ChatGPT can lead to higher profits and potentially higher wages for workers.
- Job displacement: ChatGPT could potentially replace certain jobs that require basic language processing, such as customer service representatives or chatbots, leading to job losses and potential skills mismatches.
- Shift in skills demanded: As companies increasingly adopt ChatGPT, there may be a greater demand for workers with skills in natural language processing, machine learning, and data analysis, leading to a shift in the skills demanded by the labor market.
- Accessibility and cost: The adoption of ChatGPT may be limited by factors such as cost and accessibility, which could lead to uneven impacts across industries and regions.
ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate with machines and enhance productivity in various industries. However, its widespread adoption could also have significant implications for the labor market, leading to the displacement of certain jobs and a shift in the skills demanded by employers. It is important for policymakers and industry leaders to carefully consider these potential impacts and work towards ensuring that the benefits of ChatGPT are shared among all workers. Moreover, efforts should be made to develop policies that address the potential challenges and ensure a smooth transition towards a more ChatGPT-powered economy.”
*The initial query in the search, done Thursday April 13, 2023, was “Write an article in the style of IZA World of Labor on chatgpt and its effect on the labor market.” This produced an unstructured set of paragraphs. A follow-up query, “Can you structure this response as an IZA World of Labor article, i.e., include an elevator pitch, and pros and cons”, produced the more structured response shown above.
© Daniel S. Hamermesh
Daniel S. Hamermesh is Editor-in-Chief, IZA World of Labor and Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin and Royal Holloway University of London.
We recognize that IZA World of Labor articles may prompt discussion and possibly controversy. Opinion pieces, such as the one above, capture ideas and debates concisely, and anchor them with real-world examples. Opinions stated here do not necessarily reflect those of the IZA.