AI Targeting High-End Jobs: 4-Year Global Study Calls for Concerted Societal Action To Achieve Sustainable AI Transition

Friday, November 3, 2023

Category: Research Centre News

A global team of 20 social scientists, including researchers at the Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE), unveil findings that the direction of AI innovation in corporate activities is to automate and unbundle professional work, putting the very type of work that has been powering social mobility for decades at significant risk.

The researchers recommend that public and private sectors along with individuals must collaborate to ensure the AI revolution is sustainable and benefits all, necessitating human-centric digital strategies, job redesign and upskilling at all levels of work.

Professor Ewart Keep, Emeritus Professor of Education at Oxford University’s Department of Education said: “Our findings show an urgent need for new policy capacity to harness a more human-centric future of work, and to reform education and training to empower the current and future workforce to shape their work-life in fulfilling and meaningful ways.”

The most extensive study on AI and the future of work to date, the researchers for the Digital Futures of Work Research Programme drew from interviews with over 500 respondents and quantitative analyses, examining patterns of activity across more than 10 key digital hubs around the world, including Silicon Valley, Singapore, London, Seoul, Helsinki, Berlin and more.

The findings challenge conventional assumptions about AI technologies replacing less-skilled routine work to ‘free up’ people to do more high-skilled work in better-paid jobs. Rather than less skilled jobs disappearing, top-end professional jobs that involve decision-making, data analysis, and creative problem-solving are seeing more significant changes.

The findings were presented at the Digital Futures of Work Research Conference on 1 November 2023 in Singapore. Access the set of infographics and full report at