Research

The robots aren’t coming

24 May 2018 By Maggie Baska

AI will replace significantly fewer jobs than previously thought

Breathe a sigh of relief for now – AI and robots are expected to replace significantly fewer jobs than previously thought, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

While a 2013 Oxford University study found that nearly 35 per cent of jobs in the UK were at ‘high risk’ – defined as a greater than 70 per cent chance – of being automated over the next 20 years, new research suggests a more accurate figure is only 12 per cent.

The latest study accounts for differences between jobs with the same title, whereas previous research did not.

Additionally, a third (32 per cent) of jobs across the OECD’s 32 member countries face “significant upheaval” because of automation.

The study shows that automation mostly affects the manufacturing industry and agriculture, but some service sector jobs are also susceptible to being automated. Roles that have the greatest risk of automation are those with low skill requirements and often low wages, with many entry-level and student jobs being at a higher risk of automation than jobs held by older workers.

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