Twenty-five percent of jobs will be negatively impacted over the next five years, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum. In a study, New York City-based investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts that the fast-growing mass adoption of AI will impact 300 million jobs.
We are now seeing the effects of helpful but disruptive technology. Chegg CHGG0.0%, an educational company, and IBM have both announced that AI will cause a change within their respective organizations. Chegg saw its shares fall in value. IBM will enact hiring freezes and allow attrition without recruiting new personnel, as AI will take over their jobs.
AI Schools Chegg Stock
Shares in online learning company Chegg plunged after it was one of the first organizations to admit that AI affected its business model. Chegg recognized that students were turning to OpenAI’s ChatGPT for help. The AI alternative hurts Chegg’s financial situation as its shares fell nearly 50% on Tuesday morning.
The education company highlights how quickly AI can inexpensively replicate services and products. The Financial Times reported that California-based Chegg saw a decline in revenue and a loss of subscribers. In response to the new reality, The company started CheggMate, a service created with ChatGPT-4 to offer tailored content via AI.
Millions Of Jobs Predicted To Be Impacted
According to a new report by the World Economic Forum released on Monday, a quarter of jobs will be impacted over the next five years. The fast-growing trends of artificial intelligence, digitization, renewable energy and supply chain reshoring will bring about a critical shift in the global labor market.
The WEF predicts a “new era of turbulence,” as many workers won’t have the requisite skills to keep up with the changes. Those with a technology, data analytics or cybersecurity background will benefit in the new environment.
The WEF study surveyed more than 800 companies that collectively employ 11.3 million workers across 45 countries worldwide. Global employers anticipate creating 69 million new positions by 2027 and eradicating 83 million jobs—a net loss of 14 million roles. Clerical workers will bear the brunt of the fast-moving changes. Around 26 million jobs in administrative positions will be cut due to AI.
Suppose generative AI lives up to its hype. In that case, the workforce in the United States and Europe will be upended, Goldman Sachs reported this week in a sobering and alarming report about AI’s ascendance. The investment bank estimates 300 million jobs could be lost or diminished by this fast-growing technology.
On the positive side, Goldman contends automation creates innovation, leading to new jobs. For companies, there will be cost savings thanks to AI. They can deploy their resources toward building and growing businesses, ultimately increasing annual global GDP by 7%.
Krishna points out that the tech company has around 26,000 workers that are not client-facing, and about 30%— representing 7,800 people— could be displaced through attrition due to AI over the next five years. IBM boasts 260,000 workers and will keep hiring for software development and customer-facing roles.
The Godfather Of AI Speaks Out
Geoffrey Hinton is considered the “Godfather of AI” due to his long-standing involvement with this technology. After a decade of working at the online search giant, Hinton recently left Google, his current employer, reported the New York TimesNYT0.0%.
His rationale for his departure was over concerns about the adverse impact on people due to the proliferation of AI. He shared his apprehension over misinformation, disruptions of the job market, and other severe existential risks. At 75 years of age, the AI Godfather left the search giant to freely speak about the potential damages AI can wreak without being tied to Google. The AI pioneer said that he regretted his contribution to the space.
Vegetable oils are found in thousands of products, from cosmetics and shampoo to cookies and other food products. They’re also used for cooking by billions of people and, in fact, are the food commodity that’s growing the fastest, with demand consistently higher than supply.
Current disruptions in the worldwide supply caused by weather issues, armed conflict, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages are resulting in higher prices, causing a ripple effect of sticker shock throughout the food economy, according to Amanda Leland of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Biofuels, widely used in Europe and whose demand is increasing, are likewise affected. Businesses with interests in these and other vegetable-oil-related markets need to take notice. With oil products in crisis, there’s an opportunity for new avenues of increasing supply, including indoor farming and replacing certain vegetable oils with other types of oils.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated the shortage of cooking oils, especially sunflower oil. Before the war, Russia and Ukraine produced approximately 75% (subscription required) of the world’s sunflower oil. With countries banning Russian imports and the conflict preventing Ukraine producers from harvesting, the supply predictions plummeted.
The next year’s harvest for Ukraine looks dismal due to the country’s disrupted transportation system, labor shortages and other related factors. This has caused ripple effects around the world where sunflower oil is used, including in the U.K. and Germany.
The supply of vegetable oils is impacted by labor shortages due to Covid and weather issues as well as geopolitical conflicts. For palm oil producers in Malaysia, the second largest market provider, there’s an ongoing shortage of both laborers and fertilizer, hampering production (subscription required).
Meanwhile, in South America, where over 50% of the world’s soybeans are grown, labor problems and ongoing drought are severely impacting production. This will require food producers to adjust as soybean oil prices reach a nine-year high.
The Local Indoor Farming Opportunity
This problem has created an opportunity for traditional farmers. Farmers can fill the current need by starting to produce other vegetable oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and sesame oil, which can be used as substitutes for vegetable oils.
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is also a solution. The infrastructure required for a controlled indoor grow environment can be easily built or adapted from existing structures, and it uses far less water than a traditional environment. This can allow for optimal results in places where access to water and fertilizer are limited and as we continue to face issues of drought.
Advanced indoor grow operations use hydroponics and artificial lighting to better control growing conditions and offer plants the nutrients and light levels they require. Automated tools can match energy, water, fertilizer, air flow and other data points to increase yields and profits. (Full disclosure: My company, Pangea, produces software and smart lighting solutions for indoor farming.)
A data-driven approach with centralized controls makes the oil-yielding indoor grow market financially viable, especially in the face of global conflicts and labor shortages. CEA can localize the growing of soybeans, palm or other plants. This will shorten supply chains and provide a long-term answer to regional issues driving price inflation and disruptions for providers and the end consumer.
One form of indoor agriculture is vertical farming, which produces foods in stacked layers instead of a field or greenhouse, allowing for a smaller footprint. This technique is not new but has existed for hundreds of years. Contemporary vertical farming uses LED technology instead of natural sunlight; the integration of light and technology gives precise data to farmers to reduce the human error that comes along with growing crops.
A market report from Technavio, a leading global technology research and advisory company, predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 22% from 2021 to 2026 for the global vertical farming market due to increased demand and innovations in farming practices. The report points to the massive opportunity for localized indoor farming production of oil-yielding plants and the chance to address some of the supply issues with vegetable oils.
Techniques like these demonstrate how AgTech is quickly advancing to help secure a better future for farmers and consumers alike.
If you’ve been in the same industry for a while now but have been nursing a feeling that it isn’t your true calling, you’re not alone. The average American changes careers five-to-seven times in their lifetime, and 30 percent change jobs or careers every 12 months. This sort of frequent disruption might not be ideal for long-term stability, but a change now and then can be ideal in the pursuit of living your best life.
With the pandemic in full swing, many industries are having a tough time staying afloat. Perhaps your industry is one of them, and to look out for your future and the future of your family, you may be thinking it’s time to pivot your career.
Whatever your situation may be, making a career change can be a scary leap. But when you’re prepared, you can handle anything. Here are six tips for preparing for a career change and starting down a more authentic path.
1. Don’t immediately quit your job
It’s one thing to strike while the momentum’s hot and quite another to remove your safety net precisely when you need it. If you’re fortunate enough to be employed, maintain that income while you plan the perfect exit by staying at your current job while searching for a new one.
Some people believe that quitting a job without any other prospects is the kick in the butt necessary to get serious about getting hired, but that’s too risky right now. While it may make you feel nostalgic for your college days, it’s no fun living off of ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as an adult.
2. Research the industry you’re interested in
What it takes to get your foot in the door in a new industry depends on the industry. Some jobs are going to require specific certifications or even another degree. Research what the expectations are so you’ve got a realistic chance of succeeding.
Another key area of research is the salary. Check statistics around the average salary base of the role you’re considering to get an idea of whether it’s financially realistic for maintaining your lifestyle or if you’ll need to budget for a pay cut.
3. Find a mentor in the field
Finding a success story in the field you’re pursuing can inspire you to keep going even when it seems difficult. Tracking someone’s career trajectory will also give you a blueprint that you can use to plan your route.
Find a thought leader in the field and find out as much as you can about their professional experience. Maybe they’re a guest contributor and write for credible publications about the industry you’re interested in. If so, read the content they’re creating and check out their company website. We’re all different and have our unique paths to follow, but this approach will give you a real-world look at what it takes to succeed.
4. Complete the necessary coursework
If you need classes for industry-specific knowledge or to qualify for jobs in the field you’re interested in, you’re going to have juggle coursework with your existing work schedule. It’s not easy, but it’s a necessary balance you’ll have to find. Look for night classes, weekend classes, workshops, and other learning opportunities that will allow you to learn what you need to without adding full-time school on top of full-time work. And if you have to go full-time, take solace in the fact that many people have done it before you and succeeded.
If you have a spouse or partner that is willing to carry the bulk of your financial load, make sure you plan and prepare for a reduced household income.
5. Freshen up your resumé
If you’re switching careers, your current resumé isn’t likely to reflect the right skills and experience you’ll need for your desired role. But every job you have, whether it’s related to your preferred one or not, teaches you skills that prepare you to take on new challenges.
Get creative with your resumé, reworking it to show how your current skills will make you a star in your new career. Then, have someone you trust to review your resumé to see if there’s anything you’re missing.
6. Search for available jobs
Most of the career change process involves searching for and applying for jobs. Don’t settle for job postings that don’t sound like they’ll be an excellent fit for your strengths or won’t align with what you want. Consider pay and benefit options so you can be as selective as possible. If you apply for every job in the field you want to be in, you could land a position that isn’t a great fit and you’ll be back at square one.
Once you find a job to apply for, give your resumé another once-over to ensure the skills you’re highlighting align with the skills the job posters are looking for. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to build momentum in your search. The right opportunity is out there; you just have to keep applying.
What if I want to start my own business?
If changing jobs means starting your own business, then you will also need to put together a business plan to put your thoughts into actionable steps and determine what you want to achieve.
Make sure you research the market to understand any potential risks involved — there’s always a risk when starting your own business. And accurately identify the possible business mistakes you could make. You can never prepare enough, so take the time to look into what starting your own business entails. It will ensure that the decisions you make are the right ones.
Embarking on a new journey is filled with fear, uncertainty, and excitement. But as long as you’re prepared, your path will be a little less bumpy and a little more worth it. Best of luck. You got this!
Recently, one of my friends messaged frantically, asking if I had seen the big serotonin study that had been published by scientists at University College London. The study, an umbrella review critically evaluating pre-existing research, concluded that there was little support for the idea that depression was related to abnormally low levels of serotonin. As a philosopher of medicine and psychiatry, I had to confess that I had seen the study and was utterly unsurprised at the results.
It’s true that the authors of the study are controversial figures, vocal to sometimes vituperative critics of the mental health status quo, leaving heated debates in their wake with each new publication. But the authors’ conclusion has been an open secret within mental health circles for at least a decade. The very public dispelling of this “serotonin model” has also removed a key plank in the widely believed but oversimplified myth of mental illness being caused by a “chemical imbalance.” My friend was devastated.
The chemical imbalance myth has its roots in the late ’70s and ’80s when psychiatry was dominated by the desire to understand mental illness in primarily biological terms—as deviations in brain structure, neurochemistry, and genetics. When the first generation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRI) antidepressants such as Prozac was introduced in the late ’70s, a key part of their marketing claimed that they targeted specific neurochemical imbalances.
Psychiatry is now interested in a wider range of factors contributing to mental illness—including genetics, gut microbiome, environmental influences, socioeconomic factors, and interpersonal stressors—and the marketing of psychiatric drugs is more tightly regulated.
The vast majority of these prescriptions, including the one taken by my friend, are for SSRIs. And it’s no surprise that many people who have been prescribed an SSRI believe that they work by increasing the availability of serotonin, thereby correcting the abnormally low levels of serotonin responsible for her depression. Finding out that this story of how SSRIs work was unsubstantiated made her question whether she should be taking them in the first place.
This is a common reaction. As I write this, my social media channels are full of patients who say they now want to stop taking SSRIs. The response by concerned mental health professionals and skeptical commentators has been twofold: First, they are poking holes in the study—usually an important part of scientific method. But in this case I suspect it is sort of pointless, given that many experts already thought the serotonin model to be a nonstarter, and this is a review of existing work rather than new research. Second, they are correctly noting that though we are unsure how SSRIs and other psychiatric drugs work, we have reason to believe that they do—an important distinction.
Medical treatments, including psychiatric drugs, are primarily tested for efficacy, usually via randomized controlled trials rather than more primary research into how or why they work. In many ways, this makes sense: When there is a problem, especially with one’s health, the priority is fixing the problem rather than working out why this particular fix works. Indeed, there are many common medicines and treatments where we are not entirely sure how they work, despite being fairly certain that they do—including acetaminophen (or, as we call it in the U.K., paracetamol).
In many ways my friend and I are very similar: prone to severe depression, from the same ethnic background, of similar ages, both philosophers. We have both spent the vast majority of our adult lives in precarious environments that incentivized a certain kind of relentless pursuit of achievements. But unlike my friend, I made the choice, not just once but at many critical junctures in my life, not to take antidepressants. Because I knew that depression doesn’t necessarily come from a chemical imbalance, I knew that SSRIs would hardly be a silver bullet or the only thing that would help.
I also thought about what side effects they would have. One of the primary reasons I avoided antidepressants is because a common side effect of SSRIs is disruption to sleep. My mood is very responsive to sleep, and I worried that I would just be creating a whole new set of problems for myself; a number of people end up with prescriptions for both sleeping pills and SSRIs. The possibility of sleep disruptions, the fact that my mood was very responsive to other interventions, and other potential side-effects led me to my decision.
I do not think there is a correct answer to the question of whether any particular individual should take SSRIs. I can imagine someone in my shoes whose symptoms were more severe and had tried other options making a different decision. But the persistence of the chemical myth of depression obfuscates this kind of decision-making. Though mental health professionals and academic researchers understand the distinction between whether and how a treatment works, these two things come hand in hand for patients, and it has been disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
One of the main reasons my friend was so upset about the serotonin study was because she was now left with a great many questions. If she wasn’t depressed because of serotonin levels, how was she to understand her propensity to depression? Was something else wrong with brain? Her genetics? Most heartbreakingly, she wondered whether it was that she was simply weak. The serotonin model of depression had not only played a part in her decision to take antidepressants; it shaped how she thought about herself.
I have spent a great many years biting my tongue when friends or acquaintances described their depression in terms of chemical imbalances. I hesitated in part because I was fearful of affecting their treatment, something I did not feel professionally qualified to weigh in on. But my biggest fear was intruding on the way in which they understood themselves and their lives.
Because I have seen myself and my tendency toward depression in different terms, the results of the study have not disrupted my understanding of myself. Though I have sometimes wondered why I seem more inclined to low mood than other people and idly wonder whether it some variation in my particular neurochemistry or genetics, for the most part, when I am going through a depressive period, I recognize its relationship to something that is happening in my life which needs resolving or the fact that I work in a particularly demanding field.
I am not suggesting that SSRIs prevent people from considering what might underlie their depression, or that in all cases depression is situational. But when such a compelling story is put forward by authoritative sources, one that explains so tidily why someone feels the way they do and what can be done about it, people tend not to look elsewhere for explanations or solutions. Just as the chemical imbalance myth has clouded making choices about treatment, it has altered how people understand themselves and their lives.
It is a platitude to say that different treatments work for different people, but I find it interesting that both me and my friend have ended up in similar contented places. One of the reasons the study has been so painful for so many people is the sheer variety of experiences. Those who, like me, have refrained from taking SSRIs feel faintly resentful for the many years that they have been made to feel irrational about their choice.
More tragic are the people like my friend who are now questioning their choices and their understanding of themselves. More tragic still are those patients who had an adverse reaction to SSRIs and have spent many years trying to make the psychiatric establishment acknowledge the myth and the way in which it has hidden the trade-offs associated with SSRIs and other psychiatric drugs. Then there are the many patients for whom SSRIs have been beneficial and continue to advocate for their use in the fear that others will miss out on life changing treatment.
On the other side of the fence, I have colleagues I trust and respect with a wide spectrum of views. What is striking is that once you put the bruised egos and the usual financial vested interests aside, the debates, vicious as they are, seem mostly conducted in utter good faith. Both sides convinced that the other is not only mistaken but in danger of harming vulnerable patients either by peddling dangerous, ill-evidenced treatments or through vilifying treatments that many had found helpful. Though it has been upsetting, I cannot help but find it moving that for most parties involved, the priority is the patient and their well-being.
The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday of a slowdown in global economic growth as the world economy continues to take a hit from “increasingly gloomy developments in 2022,” including high inflation, a slowdown in China caused by Covid lockdowns and ongoing fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The IMF slashed its global growth projections, now expecting global GDP to grow 3.2% this year and 2.9% in 2023, down from previous estimates in April of 3.6% GDP growth for both years.
The group cited a slowdown in the world’s three largest economies—the United States, China and the euro area—as a reason for the revised estimates, warning that the risks to the outlook remain “overwhelmingly tilted to the downside.”
Several “shocks” have hit the global economy as it tries to recover from the pandemic, including higher-than-expected inflation worldwide––especially in the United States and Europe, a worse-than-anticipated slowdown in China caused by Covid lockdowns and “further negative spillovers” from the war in Ukraine.
The IMF also said that high inflation remains a “major problem” as prices have continued to rise in 2022, led by soaring food and fuel costs, arguing that “taming inflation should be the first priority for policymakers” worldwide.
The group now expects global inflation to hit 6.6% in advanced economies and 9.5% in developing economies this year, though prices are expected to return to near pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.
The IMF also slashed its growth estimates for the U.S. economy, now forecasting GDP to rise 2.3% this year and 1% in 2023, down from previous estimates of 3.7% and 2.3%, respectively, amid the impact of tighter monetary policy and reduced household purchasing power.
“The outlook has darkened significantly since April,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said in a statement. “The world may soon be teetering on the edge of a global recession, only two years after the last one.”
“The slowdown in China has global consequences,” the IMF said. “Lockdowns added to global supply chain disruptions and the decline in domestic spending are reducing demand for goods and services from China’s trade partners.” The group now sees China’s economy growing 3.3% in 2022—its lowest pace in four decades and down over 1% from previous estimates.
The World Bank similarly slashed its forecasts for the global economy last month, predicting GDP growth in 2022 of just 2.9%, down from an earlier estimate of 4.1%.
The global economy, still reeling from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is facing an increasingly gloomy and uncertain outlook. Many of the downside risks flagged in our April World Economic Outlook have begun to materialize. Higher-than-expected inflation, especially in the United States and major European economies, is triggering a tightening of global financial conditions.
China’s slowdown has been worse than anticipated amid COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, and there have been further negative spillovers from the war in Ukraine. As a result, global output contracted in the second quarter of this year. Under our baseline forecast, growth slows from last year’s 6.1 percent to 3.2 percent this year and 2.9 percent next year, downgrades of 0.4 and 0.7 percentage points from April.
This reflects stalling growth in the world’s three largest economies—the United States, China and the euro area—with important consequences for the global outlook. In the United States, reduced household purchasing power and tighter monetary policy will drive growth down to 2.3 percent this year and 1 percent next year.
In China, further lockdowns, and the deepening real estate crisis pushed growth down to 3.3 percent this year—the slowest in more than four decades, excluding the pandemic. And in the euro area, growth is revised down to 2.6 percent this year and 1.2 percent in 2023, reflecting spillovers from the war in Ukraine and tighter monetary policy.
Despite slowing activity, global inflation has been revised up, in part due to rising food and energy prices. Inflation this year is anticipated to reach 6.6 percent in advanced economies and 9.5 percent in emerging market and developing economies—upward revisions of 0.9 and 0.8 percentage points respectively—and is projected to remain elevated longer. Inflation has also broadened in many economies, reflecting the impact of cost pressures from disrupted supply chains and historically tight labor markets.