back to article AI won't take your job, might shrink your wages, European Central Bank reckons

Concern over AI coming for our jobs appears to be unfounded, though it's not clear what effect this newest wave of automation will have on wages, the European Central Bank (ECB) concludes in a research report. After assessing nine years of data gathered across 16 European countries, the ECB found high-skilled jobs in fields …

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    MRDA in Reverse....... Well, they wouldn’t say that, would they, although to deny it is futile

    There are those who would tell you, one of main sectors at both the highest and lowest of levels of administration and execution, and at prime risk of AI led devastation, is centralised and globalised and fiat currency banking and its plethora of ponzi and unicorn investment support institutions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason, our organisation decided to throw its policy documentation at a chat bot; the idea being that project managers that don’t know the policy as well as they should can ask it questions.

    The problems with this are obvious. Firstly, reliance on the bot means they won’t actually learn the policy. Second, the bot is unlikely to return answers beyond what is asked, risking missing big and important statements.

    Considering that some very high value construction projects have missed on some absolutely critical features necessitating rework (and/or ill advised attempts to alleviate the policy that will compromise the performance of some very expensive equipment for decades) my opinion on the idea is that essentially that it is bollocks of the first degree.

    The day someone is killed by this don’t say I didn’t warn the organisation in question.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      AI chat bot can be a nice trap to catch workers who are lazy in a wrong way.

      Just link the number of sessions with the chatbot to the spreadsheet for sackings and let it check the box after 5 sessions automatically next to the idle bones name.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      There is another, even bigger problem - if the question is non-trivial, or is asked in a fashion that chatbots don't process well, there's a decent chance the bot could hallucinate, and return outright false answers. It's only a matter of time until this leads to some critical mistake due to someone trusting the bot. The only fix would be for people to start checking the bot's answers against the policy document. This, of course, would make the bot entirely useless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, absolutely. And if the user on the other end doesn't know that what the bot is returning is bollocks; this is where the safety / performance / other issues will turn into a nasty reality.

        Heaven forbid the users with awkward questions actually TALK to the engineers that wrote the policy. This is what we are here for. You might even ask a question that warrants an update to the policy.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Central Banks

    Central Banks, often seen as out of touch, operate in a world where their employees reach the apex of wage scales, a height unattainable in the private sector without doing 'favours' for major corporations. When these banks pontificate about lowering wages, it's a double-edged sword. Firstly, it's to ensure that the proletariat doesn't inch too close to their hallowed earnings. Secondly, it's a ploy: if businesses and workers naively swallow this rhetoric and suppress wages, it plays into the hands of corporations relishing in these "low market" rates. Such corporations might then cast a favourable eye upon these Central Bank workers, perhaps rewarding them with some benefits as they graze towards retirement. It's a self-serving cycle, where the only winners are those already sitting comfortably at the top.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Central Banks

      2 downvotes says they also read El Reg!

  4. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Wishful thinking

    I do wonder if there is a threat to jobs, at least in the short term, from bosses who think that they can just use AI to avoid employing/replacing/training staff.

    A bit like the character in the Nationwide advert ("That's what chatbots are for").

    i.e. it's not about the reality of LLMs, but about the belief making them salivate.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Wishful thinking

      This is - absolutely - the #1 short-term risk of AI on jobs.

      It's not what it can do. It's what the VPs and SVPs "think" it can do.

  5. Alan Bourke

    Not clear really how a search engine with nipples

    is going to steal anyone's jobs. Maybe people who create the reams of SEO-friendly nothing text for clickbait sites.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck Ai

    While we still have moronic meat-bag management, it doesn’t stand a chance

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dramatic tax reform necessary

    AI and productivity growth will upend the global economy. Doing business is made harder than necessary, especially for individual contributors. Dramatic tax reform is necessary:

    1. Abolish personal income tax. People should not be punished for working. The only personal taxes should be medical and social security by individually chosen insurance tiers with a minimal obligatory level.

    2. Tax consumption instead. Expand the definition of consumption. More below.

    3. Property and land ownership is consumption. Tax it based on land area occupied (flats in high-rise would be taxed proportionally less), insurance value, police officer per population nearby, cost of public infrastructure accessible. In Europe there is a lot of empty property - the tax will push it into productive usage.

    4. Corporate property to be taxed as 3. Exempt food-producing land and publicly accessible forests. Include environmental costs.

    5. Taxation for military protection: both 3 and 4 must contribute accordingly (that is likely much more than now).

    6. Abolish corporate tax and all other business taxes. Instead always charge VAT, even business-to-business. This will simplify and stimulate business activity. No more social and medical contributions for employees.

    The VAT could be modified to stimulate or discourage specific business activities. And since being the only tax, it would enable simple analysis of its impact. Regulation will become much easier. For example a business with good sanitary records could be charged smaller VAT. Insurance companies could be involved to define the values correctly. New companies would pay higher VAT because of legal risks. Charge more for environmental impact, for example, a toxic paint should have higher VAT than a bio-degradable.

    Minimal VAT for highly nutritious food. No VAT for baby food and related hygienic products. Minimal VAT for educational services and materials.

    7. No capital gains tax. Investment is saving (not consumption), which should be encouraged.

    8. No tax on saving account interest. Savers have been sufficiently screwed by inflation and zero-interest policies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      9. Mobile property, such as luxury yachts to be taxed based on time spent in the national waters.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Dramatic tax reform necessary

      (flats in high-rise would be taxed proportionally less)

      Did you mean it should be taxed more? We should discourage cage rearing. People without space can't grow.

      For instance, someone finds interest in electronics. Where they can practice it? In the cupboard?

      Flats should be for the rich who don't work and live off capital gains. They don't need space.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > discourage cage rearing

        Remember, your income will not be taxed. You can consume it as you like. Some people prefer to invest. Some feel OK in a tiny flat. Some are forced to live in a tiny flat, but contributed with their taxes to protect mortgage holders during the 2008 collapse. The biggest contributor to municipal waste generation (by orders of magnitude) is building industry, while empty property is collecting dust. Cement production is a big source of pollution and energy consumer.

  8. Mostly Irrelevant

    When did any tool that increases productivity not lead to an increase in wages? The ECB sounds clueless.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Have you even heard of America?

  9. martinusher Silver badge

    Read between the lines

    The difference between the US and Europe could be summed up as "employment protection legislation". We in the US are the land of "at will" employment where employees are for the most part a disposable commodity so its relatively easy to shed surplus labor. Europe has all sorts of employee protections and other (unimaginable to us) benefits (you always seem to be on holiday, for a start) so in the absence of being able to actually shed workers other techniques will be used to drive the overall wage bill downwards.

    Whether or not this is a good idea is irrelevant. Corporations are notoriously bad at forward planning.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Mark my words

    The day is coming soon when the bank street investors fire the entire BoD of many companies and let the AI run it.

  11. CheesyTheClown

    AI stopped me from using people

    I believe that using AI this year alone made it possible for me to avoid long hiring processes and numerous interviews. I found that although AI wasn’t a perfect human replacement, managing AIs and fixing their mistakes has been substantially more productive than hiring extra people. Altogether on my one project, AI has cut at least three potential jobs.

    AI is not a human replacement, but it is a massive productivity augmentation tool. As a result, it stops the creation of new positions because the risk is substantially lower and the time savings by using AI makes the process of hiring humans and on-boarding them counterproductive.

    As a note, this is in Europe and these are highly skilled IT jobs, positions that would have posted with “Masters degree plus 5 years experience required”.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Martin Gregorie

    Yawn. This was predicted back in the 1952....

    ... by Kurt Vonnegut in his first novel, "Player Piano". It's well worth a read now, as it describes a fully automated 'utopia' where nobody in the general population works because they're all on welfare and. as a result, there's a static, bored, class-ridden society, but without having or needing the continuous global war and police state of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    If you haven't read either novel, then get out there and read them. Who knows, you might even learn something and/or recognize the same tendencies showing up now.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Yawn. This was predicted back in the 1952....

      Who knows, you might even learn something and/or recognize the same tendencies showing up now. .... Martin Gregorie

      What? Humans learn something/anything from experience and tales of the past and glimpses of the future? You’ve got to be joking. Take a long hard look at everything around you and at the dire state populations and societies are in presently in for evidence of the stupidity and madness which abounds and renders them akin to little better than just primitive barbarians terrified of the dark and of that which they neither dare nor care to know nor command and control ....... but that may just be the natural state of their Earthly existence.

      The blind leading the blind has them going nowhere great and good fast and furiously.

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