World Economic Forum research shows robots set to eliminate 5m jobs by 2020

More than 5m jobs will be lost by 2020 as a result of developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other technological change, according to World Economic Forum research.

About 7m jobs will be lost and 2m gained as a result of technological change in 15 major developed and emerging economies, WEF founder Klaus Schwab and managing board member Richard Samans said in ‘The Future of Jobs’.

The findings are taken from a survey of 15 economies covering about 1.9bn workers, or about 65% of the world’s total workforce.

The increasingly blurred lines between physical, digital, and biological spheres amount to a Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to the WEF, which will address the idea at its annual meeting of policy makers, academics and economists in Davos, Switzerland.

Administrative and office jobs will account for two-thirds of the losses.

“To prevent a worst-case scenario — technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality— reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical,” the authors said.

“It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation’s workforce to become better prepared.”


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