AI could affect pay not jobs ECB says as 18 countries agree on AI regulations

The adoption of AI by several industries could lower pay but may lead to the creation of more jobs for young skilled workers a new report has found.

According to a new study by the European Central Bank (ECB) looking at firms in 16 countries, there was “no evidence of software replacing routine medium-skill jobs” – a persistent fear with the advent of so-called 'generative' artificial intelligence (GenAI).

The ECB said that its research showed a “mixed picture” across Europe with the impact of AI varying due to underlying economic factors such as education and the level of regulation in labour markets.

“During the deep learning boom of the 2010s, occupations potentially more exposed to AI-enabled technologies actually increased their employment share in Europe,” the report says. “Occupations with a relatively higher proportion of younger and skilled workers gained the most."

The report however warns that while people may not be put out of work due to AI, it is already having a negative impact on wages.

It says: “For wages, the evidence is less clear and suggests neutral to slightly negative impacts. These results do not amount to an acquittal: AI-enabled technologies continue to be developed and adopted. Most of their impact on employment and wages – and therefore on growth and equality – has yet to be seen.”

The report coincides with the news that agencies from 18 countries, including the US, have endorsed guidelines on AI cyber security developed by the UK.

The Guidelines for Secure AI System Development have been developed by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and the US’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in co-operation with industry experts and 21 other international agencies.

The UK government said the guidelines are the first of their kind to be agreed on a global scale and that the guidelines will help developers make informed cyber security decisions at every stage of the development process when using AI – whether those systems have been created from scratch or built on top of tools and service provided by others.

“We know that AI is developing at a phenomenal pace and there is a need for concerted international action, across governments and industry, to keep up,” said NCSC chief executive Lindy Cameron. “These guidelines mark a significant step in shaping a truly global, common understanding of the cyber risks and mitigation strategies around AI to ensure that security is not a postscript to development but a core requirement throughout.

“I’m proud that the NCSC is leading crucial efforts to raise the AI cyber security bar: a more secure global cyber space will help us all to safely and confidently realise this technology’s wonderful opportunities.”

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