A new study has found that 47 per cent of jobs in the United States may be lost to automation within the next 20 years.
The study titled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation” was completed by The Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology.
The study examined over 700 detailed occupation types, noting the types of tasks workers perform and the skills required.
By weighting these factors, as well as the engineering obstacles currently preventing computerisation, the researchers assessed the degree to which these occupations may be automated in the coming decades.
It found that jobs in the transport, logistics and office sectors faced the biggest threat from automation.
One of the study’s authors Dr Michael A. Osborne said, “We identified several key bottlenecks currently preventing occupations being automated. As big data helps to overcome these obstacles, a great number of jobs will be put at risk.”
However, the news wasn’t all bad.
The fact is robots can’t do tasks that require creative and social intelligence. Researchers found that those workers who are currently in low-skill positions will be able to avoid future unemployment by re-skilling and moving to jobs that require those skills.
According to the report, “... as technology races ahead, low-skilled workers will move to tasks that are not susceptible to computerisation — i.e., tasks that required creative and social intelligence.”
“For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills.”