Generative artificial intelligence (AI) could disrupt the global labour market and replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs, but could help drive higher productivity and economic growth if it lives up to its promise, a report by investment bank Goldman Sachs said.

"If generative AI delivers on its promised capabilities, the labor market could face significant disruption," the investment bank said in a research note earlier this week.

The AI technology space received a jolt when ChatGPT, a chatbot from the Microsoft-backed startup OpenAI, was released last year to great excitement. Google followed up with its own chatbot, Bard, in March.  

In the US, some two-thirds of jobs are exposed to automation by AI, Goldman said, adding that of those positions affected, as much as 50% of their workload could be replaced.

In their estimates, Goldman said 7% of US jobs could be substituted by AI, 63% complemented and 30% being unaffected by it.

"Although the impact of AI on the labor market is likely to be significant, most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation and are thus more likely to be complemented rather than substituted by AI," the report said.

However, the boost from automation on labor productivity could also be economically significant raising annual global GDP by 7% if "it delivers on its promise", the investmant bank said.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)