Ranking of industries based on their potential for AI automation

Ranking of industries based on their potential for AI automation

Since the release of tools like ChatGPT, artificial intelligence (AI) has begun to permeate industries around the world, transforming the way we work and live.

To gain insight into this rapidly changing landscape, our sponsor MSCI ranked US industries based on their estimated share of employment that could be exposed to AI-powered automation.

Data and highlights

This analysis comes from a March 2023 report released by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research.

The authors estimated exposure to automation for more than 900 US jobs using the O*NET occupational database, which provides details on the types of activities each occupation performs. The exposure estimates were then weighted by the employment share of each occupation and aggregated at the sector level.

Industry Estimated share of US employment exposed to AI (%)
Office and administrative support 46%
Legal 44%
Architecture and engineering 37%
Life, physical and social sciences 36%
Commercial and financial operations 35%
Community and social service 33%
Management 32%
Sales and related 31%
Computer Science and Mathematics 29%
Agriculture, fishing and forestry 28%
Protective service 28%
Healthcare workers and technicians 28%
Didactic education and library 27%
Healthcare support 26%
Art, design, entertainment, sports and media 26%
Average across all sectors 25%
Personal care and service 19%
Related to the preparation and serving of food 12%
Transportation and material handling 11%
Production 9%
Construction and mining 6%
Installation, maintenance and repair 4%
Cleaning and maintenance of buildings and grounds 1%

According to these findings, office and admin support will likely be hit the hardest by AI-driven automation at 46%. This transformation could have a major impact on common tasks like data entry, meeting scheduling, and document management.

The second highest sector, legal, follows closely at 44%. AI is expected to automate legal processes such as contract analysis and could even be used to anticipate the outcomes of court cases.

As expected, the industries that will not be severely impacted are those that rely heavily on manual labor, such as construction and quarrying.

Benchmarking the automated future

AI is still a very new and developing technology. How it will affect work productivity in the future depends on its capability (how quickly it improves) and adoption (how quickly people and businesses start using it).

Adoption rates are unlikely to be the same around the world, as the survey results showed that some countries are more optimistic about AI than others.

In the most aggressive scenario, Goldman Sachs believes AI automation could impact up to 300 million jobs globally and potentially result in a 7% increase in annual GDP (approximately $7 trillion).

Given the massive disruptive potential of AI, it’s more important than ever for investors to stay on top of it. That’s why MSCI created the MSCI ACWI IMI Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Indexwhich compares an investable universe of companies associated with the adoption of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.

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