A new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a report which estimates that artificial intelligence and robotics will create more jobs than they will destroy to the tune of 58 million jobs. This will be despite machines being dominant in terms of tasks performed in the workplace.
This is due to "significant shifts" in the type of work people will do and where and how they will be performing these newly created tasks. Emerging technology is predicted to wipe out 75 million jobs from the economy. Most workplace tasks have an element of repetitiveness in them which automation systems, in conjunction with agile robotics will be able to perform.
However, the shifting dynamics between machines and humans will also add an estimated 133 million new roles to the workforce. Along with these new roles, the way people work is likely to evolve with the traditional permanent full time and part time structure giving way for more flexible structures. The gig economy has already shown the effectiveness of freelancers to disrupt industries and this trend will likely continue.
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Programs to retrain labor forces in new skill sets and readjust them to this new machine/human relationship will be essential. Machines currently perform 29% of workplace tasks and this is expected to increase to 42% by 2022, meaning an average reduction in task hours of 13% from 71% to 58% for humans.
Saadia Zahidi, head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum explained that despite the benefits employers can hope to garner from increased automation, it is still imperative they invest in their employees if they hope to remain competitive.
"There is both a moral and economic imperative to do so," said Zahidi in a statement. "Without proactive approaches, businesses and workers may lose out on the economic potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."