Nearly 4,000 Americans lost their jobs in May because they were replaced by artificial intelligence — the first time that AI has been blamed for workers being unemployed, according to a report.
More than 80,000 jobs were cut in May, according to the analytics firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, which cited market and economic conditions as well as mergers and acquisitions as key factors.
But some 3,900 of those jobs were lost because of AI, the firm said.
The results of the report were first cited by Insider.
According to the report, around 417,500 jobs were lost between January and May — the worst five-month start to a year since 2020.
That was the year that saw the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which wiped out more than 1.4 million jobs nationwide.
The recession caused by the housing crisis more than a decade ago led to 820,000 layoffs to begin 2009, according to Challenger.
A spokesperson for Challenger told Insider that this was the first time ever that AI was listed as one of the contributing factors behind layoffs.
The rapid advancement in AI research and the breakneck speed at which engineers have developed AI-powered bots such as ChatGPT have stoked fears that they could render humans in knowledge-based industries obsolete.
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs issued a report predicting that AI-powered bots could affect as many as 300 million jobs worldwide.
The Wall Street investment banking giant warned that AI could pose “significant disruption” for the labor market.
Goldman Sachs predicted that two-thirds of jobs in the US and Europe could be automated to some degree by AI.
In the US, “of those occupations which are exposed, most have a significant — but partial — share of their workload (25-50%) that can be replaced,” according to the report, which was cited by CNBC.
AI experts have also warned that the new technology could
OpenAI boss Sam Altman, whose firm created ChatGPT, and the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton were among more than 350 prominent figures who see AI as an existential threat, according to the one-sentence open letter organized by the nonprofit Center for AI Safety.
Billionaire Elon Musk was among hundreds of experts who called for a six-month pause in advanced AI development so that leaders could consider how to safely proceed.
During an appearance at a Wall Street Journal conference in London last week, Musk said he saw — a reference to the worst-case scenario from James Cameron’s 1984 sci-fi film.