Business

Automation 'could create jobs rather than destroy them' says BT report

A new report suggests automation could create rather than destroy jobs

AUTOMATION could create rather than destroy jobs, according to a new business study.

Research among 1,500 information technology managers by telecoms giant BT found a third believed that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will generate demand for workers such as software engineers and programmers.

But a similar number predicted that the technologies could lead to job losses, replacing work carried out by employees.

One in three of those polled are planning to invest in AI and automation over the next two years.

One in four organisations are currently using automation technologies like drones, robots or autonomous vehicles, with almost two thirds (63 per cent) describing AI or automation technologies as being ‘very beneficial' to their organisations.

Around one in three IT decision makers are planning to invest in AI and automation over the next two years, suggesting that businesses and organisations across the country are gearing up to embrace these technologies in the near future. Of these, 62 per cent believe that their organisations will be more effective as a result.

The UK public sector also appears to be benefitting from the early adoption of so-called disruptive technologies (these include mobile applications, virtual reality devices and wearable technology).

Some 95 per cent of organisations that operate within the UK public sector are already using at least one form of disruptive technology, compared with 85 per cent of businesses operating in the private sector.

Furthermore, almost half of organisations operating within the public sector have implemented big data analysis, while 42 per cent of those operating in the private sector are using this technology to date.

Colm O'Neill, managing director of major corporates and public sector at BT, said: “This research gives us a fascinating insight into the early adoption of AI, automation and other disruptive technologies in the UK workplace.

"The findings illustrate the rapid pace of technological change amongst organisations of all types and sizes."

He added: "While some organisations clearly view disruptive technologies as a potential threat to the labour market, we believe the introduction of new automated technologies and business processes will play to the strengths of both people and machines."

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