AI Is Taking Over These Freelancing Jobs the Most: Report

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AI replacing jobs isn't a theoretical idea, new research suggests, but something that is happening — right now.

Henley Wing Chiu, a Queens, New York-based researcher at labor and hiring trend website Bloomberry, looked at five million data points to see which jobs AI is most likely to replace, and which jobs are already being replaced.

Chiu, who is also co-founder of content marketing platform BuzzSumo, took the 12 most popular freelancing job categories on Upwork, a freelancing hub, and tracked how postings changed from 30 days before ChatGPT's public debut to February 2024.

He found that most job categories showed an increase in the number of postings, with three notable exceptions: writing, translation, and customer service.

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Writing jobs declined by 33%, translation jobs declined by 19%, and customer service jobs declined by 16%, all from November 1, 2022, to February 14, 2024.

“I definitely expected writing jobs to decrease, as this is perhaps the most popular use case of ChatGPT, and that was reflected in the -33% decrease in writing jobs,” Chiu wrote.

He elaborated that the decline in customer service jobs wasn't surprising either because of the rise of AI customer service chatbots.

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Almost all other categories had job postings increase, with video editing/production jobs up the most by 39%. Graphic design, web design, accounting, sales, and web development freelance gig postings also increased.

Chiu stated in the report that he decided to analyze freelance jobs instead of full-time or part-time jobs because the freelance market was the most likely to see AI impact first.

He gave a few explanations of the data: Generative AI tools could be good enough now to replace writing tasks, but not yet up to par for quality results in tasks like generating images or videos. However, that could change as OpenAI recently announced its Sora text-to-video AI generator.

Another explanation could be that users do not yet understand how to fully use AI tools.

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A 2023 Upwork survey showed that freelancers make up 38% of the U.S. workforce and that they are 2.2 times more likely to regularly use generative AI than other professionals for tasks like research, brainstorming, and coding.



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