06 Feb 2023 4 min read

Generative AI: what chatbots mean for the future of work

By Aude Martin , Elisa Piscopiello

Was this blog written by ChatGPT? Find out at the bottom of the article.


For anyone who grew up during the home computing revolution, recent excitement surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) should have the ring of familiarity.

In the late 1970s and the 1980s, machines such as the Apple II, Sinclair ZX80 and Commodore 64 put computing power previously available only to governments and corporations into the hands of the public. Today, programming assistant Copilot, art generator Midjourney and chatbot ChatGPT are doing the same thing for AI.

AI goes mainstream

As with the iconic home computers mentioned above, the significance of these systems lies as much in their visibility as in their technical sophistication.

While IBM*, Alphabet* and others have been heavily involved in AI for years (IBM’s Watson AI competed on Jeopardy! in 2011, collecting the first-place prize of $1 million), the systems have until very recently remained behind closed doors.

As Daniela Rus, Director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and ROBO Global Advisor, put it, “ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. Its extraordinary contribution is putting the power of AI tools into the hands of the community. For the first time, there is an AI tool that is usable by all, independent of their training in AI. ChatGPT is democratising the use of AI in language tasks.”1


Will AI take my job?

Although the generative AI systems of today come with plenty of limitations – ChatGPT’s responses are based on data that ends in December 2021, it can only base responses on textual material and information is not fact checked – there are clear use cases such as basic legal services, accessible content creation and rapid summarisation. There is a long road ahead in terms of developing services like ChatGPT, but it nonetheless represents a big step forward.

No surprise, then, that gallons of ink have been spilt pondering whether ChatGPT and other generative AI systems pose a threat to jobs. After all, earlier technological developments from the seed drill to the internet did change the world of work, rendering occupations obsolete. However, these innovations also allowed individuals to increase their productivity and to divert their time away from repetitious work towards more creative tasks.

Imagine the owner of a small boutique who has ambitions to grow her business but lacks resources to capitalise on online sales. This business owner could use ChatGPT to answer questions on coding a website and to provide email marketing materials.  

Beyond the enterprise sphere, we’re already seeing how AI, combined with human expertise, can lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis based on medical imaging. A study2 published in Nature Medicine found that AI can accurately diagnose brain tumours in fewer than three minutes during surgery, which could potentially inform surgical procedures in near real-time.

Have investors missed the boat?

Given the excitement around publicly available AI and the passing of the US CHIPS Act, providing billions of dollars to fund US semiconductor research, the AI market has seen a large uptick in recent months. However, this comes after a punishing 2022, which saw growth technology stocks plummet amid rising interest rates and worries around overexpansion, meaning valuations in many cases remain well below 2021 highs.

It’s also important to remember that AI doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Other technological developments such as intelligent electric vehicles, next-generation wearables and advanced healthcare diagnostics will all provide additional appetite – and funding – for AI research.

While media attention has focused on a few prominent names within the sector, we believe there is an entire ecosystem of existing technologies that could benefit from rising use of AI.

Examples include AI-forward chip manufacturers, semiconductor equipment and testing specialists, storage infrastructure providers, and companies involved in the creation of ‘digital twins’.

Watch this space

The publicly available generative AI available today comes with technical limitations, and questions remain around how we can prevent these systems from being exploited to propagate disinformation or flood our inboxes with highly tailored spam.

What’s not in doubt is that AI has potentially huge implications for a wide range of industries, and billions of dollars will be spent in the race to commercialise this potentially transformative technology.

Owing to capacity constraints, ChatGPT was unavailable at the time this blog was produced, so it was written the old-fashioned way…

*For illustrative purposes only. Reference to a particular security is on a historic basis and does not mean that the security is currently held or will be held within an LGIM portfolio. The above information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any security.

1. Source: ROBO Global, January 2023 investor call

2. Source: https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2020/artificial-intelligence-brain-tumor-diagnosis-surgery

Aude Martin

ETF Investment Specialist

Aude joined L&G ETF in July 2019 as a cross-asset ETF Investment Specialist. Prior to that, Aude worked as a delta one trader at Goldman Sachs and within the structured-products sales teams at HSBC and Credit Agricole CIB. As an investment specialist, she contributes towards the design of investment strategies and actively supports the ETF distribution and marketing efforts. She graduated from EDHEC Business School in 2016 with an MSc in Financial Markets.

Aude Martin

Elisa Piscopiello

Senior ETF Analyst

Elisa joined LGIM as ETF Analyst in June 2021. She contributes towards the development and analysis of investment strategies, whilst also supporting ETF distribution and marketing efforts. Prior to that, Elisa worked as Multi Asset Investment Support Executive at Liontrust, and as Investment Dealing Assistant at Architas. In 2016 she graduated from the University of Kent with a First Class degree in Financial Economics with Econometrics. She holds the Diploma in Investment Management (ESG) and is a CFA charterholder.

Elisa Piscopiello