Robots are coming to the workplace in ways they have never done before. Automating backroom tasks could eliminate many jobs, but will also augment the productivity of others, leading to greater incomes and larger economies. The World Economic Forum recently released its Future of Jobs 2018 report, and Sara Castellanos explains the results here:
The Future of Jobs 2018 report, released Monday, predicts that by 2025, more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines, as opposed to 29% today.
But the impact of machines and algorithms on the entire workforce will result in net positive job growth, according to the report, as companies in sectors ranging from finance to hospitality and telecommunications experiment with ways to pair software, machines and artificial intelligence with human labor.
Overall the report, which surveyed chief human resources officers and top strategy executives across 300 global companies, predicted a decline of 984,000 jobs and a gain of 1.74 million jobs between now and 2022.
Nearly 50% of respondents said they expect their full-time workforce to shrink by 2022 as a result of automation. Almost 40%, though, expect to expand their workforce, and more than a quarter expect automation to create new roles in their companies, according to the report.
Evidence of that is already being seen today — and AI experts say that will continue for the foreseeable future.
“We can build a much brighter future where humans are relieved of menial work using AI capabilities,” said Andrew Ng, CEO of Landing AI and former head of Google Brain and Baidu Inc.’s AI division, in a recent interview.
The transformation is already underway. Software that helps humans perform mundane back-office tasks more efficiently are being experimented with today at large companies. Hundreds of software robots, part of an industry called robotic process automation, work alongside human employees at companies such as Ernst & Young and Walmart Inc. where they’re saving employees millions of hours of time.
Robotic process automation is evolving to include advanced software bots built with machine learning algorithms in order to perform tasks such as object recognition, while other software bots don’t require AI. The market will grow to almost $1.1 billion in revenue this year from $325 million in 2016, WSJ has previously reported.
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