Cathie Wood is the head of Ark Investment Management and one of the most vocal technology bulls on Wall Street. Ark consistently issues research analyzing the potential impact of new tech trends on the long-term future of the economy, and the firm has supported many emerging industries, from electric vehicles to video streaming. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that Cathie Wood is in tune with the recent artificial intelligence (AI) frenzy. In Ark's "Big Ideas 2023" report released earlier this year, the firm outlined how this advanced technology might affect investors, businesses, and jobs.

Wood spoke at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference last week and reiterated some of those potential impacts. Knowledge workers should particularly pay attention to the emergence of AI. Here's what they need to know. 

An artificial intelligence robot holding the scales of justice and examining them.

Image source: Getty Images.

We're all going to be programmers

But don't reach for a college application yet. Thanks to AI, programming is entering a new no-code era, which means you don't actually need extensive experience in the field. This will affect knowledge workers the most, who include software engineers, lawyers, scientists, and even financial analysts.

Basically, any job that involves processing significant amounts of information or data will be accelerated by AI. This will lead to a productivity boom, which is a positive for companies, because they'll get more bang for their buck on the $32 trillion in salaries they pay knowledge workers each year. 

While some employees will probably be displaced, an AI revolution doesn't mean human workers won't be required; it just means they'll need to adjust their skill sets by learning to harness this new tool. Wood suggests any worker who relies on a computer to complete their job will need a little expertise in natural language processing, or the type of programming used to build OpenAI's ChatGPT model. 

But these workers won't actually need to write code -- they'll effectively become a "prompt engineer." Companies like Microsoft are investing heavily in this area; just last week it announced an investment in, a tool anybody can use to create a piece of software using AI. The user simply has to provide a detailed outline of what they need, and AI does the heavy lifting with respect to writing the code and programming the application. 

Knowledge workers will need to familiarize themselves with these new technologies and learn how to prompt them to get the outcomes they need to complete tasks.

The productivity boom could be worth trillions of dollars

According to Ark's research, if businesses reach 100% adoption of AI by 2030 with a capital investment of $41 trillion, it would make knowledge workers precisely four times more productive. That could translate to a whopping $200 trillion in additional economic output. As a result, Wood thinks knowledge workers who master AI tools could earn far more money than they do today. 

But it won't be good news for everyone. Workers in low-skilled jobs could face large-scale displacement as industries like manufacturing harness the increased productivity that AI offers. Moreover, companies like Tesla and Uber Technologies are expected to release fully autonomous robotaxis as soon as this year, which means the ride-hailing industry could be entirely driverless in the future.

While it will be important for knowledge workers to adjust their skills to accommodate AI, the truth is that most people will need to familiarize themselves with this technology if they want to excel in the new economy. But as I mentioned earlier, the learning curve probably won't be that steep, thanks to the efforts of companies like Microsoft.