Talk - Of Jobs and Men: An AI-assisted Approach for Studying Skill Mismatch in Hong Kong
2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 3301 (Lift 2 or Lifts 17-18), 3/F Academic Building

Recent advancements in generative artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) have provided quantitative social scientists with unprecedented opportunities to collect, process, and analyze massive-scale observational data. In this study, with assistance of ChatGPT, I am able to assess real-time labor market demand and construct skill mismatch measures by analyzing millions of job postings scrapped from prominent online platforms in Hong Kong. Such demand-side job analysis is considered the optimal method for determining the matched (or required) education credentials for specific occupations, a feat previously unattainable due to the limitations of conventional machine learning (ML) methods. Most of these ML methods depend on teams of human experts to manually label large volumes of data for model training, a process that is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and cognitively demanding. However, the findings of this study indicate a promising avenue for future research. General foundation models like GPT-4 show impressive capabilities on handling job posting data without being explicitly trained. Notably, when fine-tuned, GPT-3.5 achieves GPT-4-level performance (over 90%) on automated data labeling and skill identification benchmarks, at just one-tenth of the cost. More importantly, this study posits that large language models (LLM) can attain state-of-the-art performance on information extraction and classification tasks, which surpasses not only the accuracy of smaller, supervised models but also the efficiency of well-trained human experts.

Room 3301 (Lift 2 or Lifts 17-18), 3/F Academic Building
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Dr. XU Duoduo (許多多) joined the Department of Sociology at HKU in 2019, holding joint appointments at the Department of Geography and Faculty of Arts. Before that, she was a Research Assistant Professor of Social Science and a Junior Fellow of Institute for Advanced Study at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Dr. Xu received her PhD in Social Science from HKUST, where she was also trained at the Center for Applied Social and Economic Research (CASER). Her research lies at the intersection of urban sociology, sociology of education, and sociology of work, and are mainly concerned with child development and youth employment issues in Chinese cities. Her work has been widely published in both general and specialized sociological journals, including the British Journal of Sociology, China Quarterly, Chinese Sociological Review, Demographic Research, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Work, Employment and Society, among others. In the capacity of PI or Co-PI, Dr. Xu has been awarded about HK$17 million research funding from various sources. She currently serves as the Vice President of Hong Kong Sociological Association.

Host: Prof Yifan SHEN, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science, HKUST

Division of Social Science