Thomson Reuters has just published the Future of Professionals Report, shedding light on the anticipated impact of generative AI on the professional landscape by 2028. The study, which encompasses feedback from over 1,200 professionals operating worldwide, illustrates a significant inclination towards AI’s transformative effect on the job market.

According to the findings, a striking 67% anticipate that AI will radically reshape or significantly affect their profession in the coming half-decade. Simultaneously, 66% foresee AI paving the way for innovative professional careers. Interestingly, 68% project an increase in roles that sideline the necessity for standard legal or tax credentials within the same timeframe.

Steve Hasker, the President and CEO of Thomson Reuters, commented on this evolution, emphasizing AI’s potential to simplify routine tasks, thereby enabling professionals to concentrate on intricate work that caters to the nuanced needs of their clients. He noted that harnessing AI’s capabilities can address key challenges related to job satisfaction, overall well-being, and striking a work-life balance.

The report reveals a widespread organizational shift, with numerous industries seamlessly integrating AI into their daily operations. A large faction (45%) of the respondents are optimistic about AI boosting productivity, refining internal efficiency, and enhancing client services, especially concerning the synergy between operations, talent, clientele, and their surrounding environment.

However, with AI’s rise, professionals will be compelled to redefine their role as advisors and restructure business strategies to cater to the evolving market needs. Of those surveyed, 67% ranked “delivering high-quality advice” as their top incentive.

Despite the promising outlook, the study also highlighted some challenges. About 28% of the participants indicated that their work adversely impacts their mental well-being. AI, however, has the potential to alleviate some of these concerns, particularly by automating repetitive tasks and reducing the potential for errors.

Professionals harbor reservations too. Concerns revolve around the accuracy (25%) of AI-driven results, potential job displacements (19%), threats to the very existence of some professions (17%), data security (15%), and ethical implications (15%). For AI to gain widespread trust, it needs to address these concerns transparently and responsibly.

The report also delved deep into sector-specific insights:

  • Tax and Accounting Sector: The primary focus is on productivity (59%) and internal efficiency (75%). The potential for offering superior advice and bridging talent gaps was highlighted, especially with the rise in roles not demanding traditional qualifications.
  • Legal Sector: AI is viewed as a catalyst for growth, with 75% and 67% expecting improvements in productivity and efficiency, respectively. AI’s introduction is also anticipated to open up novel revenue streams.
  • Government Sector: Talent remains a top priority, and the optimism surrounding AI’s role is palpable. However, a slower adoption rate, driven by data security apprehensions and resistance to change, is expected compared to the corporate sphere.

The full report can be accessed here.

Research Methodology: The survey, conducted in May and June 2023, drew participation from over 1,200 professionals spanning legal, tax, accounting, and risk sectors across corporate, firm, and government agencies. A significant number of participants hailed from the U.S., while others were primarily from the UK, Canada, and Latin America. The participant demographic consisted mostly of Baby Boomers, followed by Gen X, and Millennials, with a small percentage from Gen Z and the Silent Generation.