Machines to handle half of work tasks by 2025

Robots 'will create more jobs than they displace'

18/09/2018 15:59 Robots 'will create more jobs than they displace'

The World Economic Forum has issued a report stating that over the next decade AI could create nearly double the number of jobs that it will destroy.

Despite fears that advancing technology will have a negative impact on employment in the next decade, it is predicted 133 million new roles will be made, compared to 75 million jobs that will disappear.

The sharp increase could also see a net gain in "new roles" for humans, who will have to revamp skills to keep pace with the "seismic shift" in how we work with machines and computer programmes, the forum estimated.

Separately, the rise of robots in manufacturing in Southeast Asia is likely to fuel modern slavery as workers who end up unemployed due to automation face abuses competing for a shrinking pool of low-paid jobs in a "race to the bottom", analysts said recently.

More machines completing more so-called work tasks means humans can do even more, and that more jobs will be created, according to a new future of jobs study from the World Economic Forum. Many firms may choose to hire temporary workers, freelancers and specialist contractors for tasks not automated by new technology.

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The companies surveyed represent more than 15 million workers in 20 developed and emerging countries.

Data provided to the think tank by executives from more than than 300 global companies suggest that machines will carry out an average of 42% of tasks by 2022, compared with 29% today.

Among the jobs likely to get a boost are openings in data analysis, social media and software development, as well as positions in sales and marketing which require "human skills" that machines can not replace. Jobs expected to become redundant include routine-based white-collar roles, such as data entry clerks, accounting and payroll clerks.

The report calls on businesses and government leaders around the world to create a support system for their employees and ensure a smooth transition as the workforce evolves. "At the same time a greater number of new jobs will be created", said Saadia Zahidi, a WEF board member.

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