The future of work is always a hot topic, especially at the moment as AI and robotics are becoming more integrated into the workplace, and the first question on everyone’s mind is: is my job safe from being taken by robots?
Just this week for example, Reform, a right-of-centre think tank, claimed machines would be more efficient and save billions of pounds. They advocated for AI replacing UK public sector workers; with almost 250,000 people potentially losing their jobs over the next 15 years.
While there is little doubt that AI and robotics is going to have a huge impact on jobs and the workplace, it doesn’t necessarily mean workers themselves will be cast on the scrapheap.
Many experts are confidently predicting advances will, contrary to popular belief, actually create more jobs than it will get rid of.
As reported by Silicon Republic, Matthew Bishop, senior editor at The Economist, discussed what he believes the working world is set to look like.
“As an economist, I’m generally quite suspicious about arguments that say technology is going to wipe out all the jobs,” said Bishop. “Throughout history, we’ve been through technological disruptions and what happens is, most of the jobs that get destroyed are the jobs that no one really wants to do and actually, we create new jobs.”
Adding “It’s easier to see the jobs that get destroyed than it is to imagine the jobs that are going to be created.”
The anxiety is a very real manifestation and according to Accenture’s strategy on creating the future workforce, 87 percent of workers expect elements of their job to be automated over the coming five years.
There is little doubt that AI and robotics will continue to take on an ever increasing role in the future of work, but the jury is still out on how disruptive it will, or won’t be.