Robots and AI could create more jobs than they destroy, report claims

Advancing technology could see the creation of more high-quality roles in the next decade, the World Economic Forum said.

Robots, artificial intelligence and algorithms could create more jobs than they destroy, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

Despite fears that advancing technology will have a negative impact on employment in the next decade, it is predicted 133 million new roles will be made, compared to 75 million jobs that will disappear.

Honda’s ASIMO in UK
AI could help create about 133 million jobs, researchers claimed (Anthony Devlin/PA)

While more physical jobs will continue to decline and artificial intelligence will take hold of many office-work positions, technology will continue to create more new roles, such as drone piloting and remote patient health monitoring.

However, the Future of Jobs 2018 report also warned that investment will be needed from businesses and governments to train people with new skills before it is too late.

“These net gains are not a foregone conclusion,” WEF chairman Klaus Schwab said.

“They entail difficult transitions for millions of workers and the need for proactive investment in developing a new surge of agile learners and skilled talent globally.”

The changes are already being felt in some sectors, with the likes of software engineering, user experience designers and data analysts on the up across western Europe between 2013 and 2017 while sales, journalism and admin work experienced a drop.

Data provided to the think tank by executives from more than than 300 global companies suggest that machines will carry out an average of 42% of tasks by 2022, compared with 29% today. Consequently, humans will go from performing 71% of total task hours to 58%.

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