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AI job-loss estimates “lower than previously thought”

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A report by the OECD on the impact of artificial intelligence and automation suggests many fewer jobs in the UK and USA will be lost than previously thought – though the revised figures still represent many millions of positions at risk.

According to the report, some 10% of US jobs and 12% of UK roles will be lost to automation over the next decade – significantly lower than the 47% and 35% respectively predicted by a highly influential Oxford University study released in 2013. Nevertheless, the figure for the UK represents around three million employees, and that for the USA at least 13 million, the report claims.

The research suggests that while fears of the impact of automation and AI have been to some extent overblown, the consequences will still be significant, with “further polarisation of the labour market” potentially leading to greater wealth inequality, and with countries not sufficiently prepared for the retraining burden which will result from such widespread job losses.

“The large share of workers whose jobs are likely to change quite significantly as a result of automation calls for countries to strengthen their adult learning policies to prepare their workforce for the changes in job requirements they are likely to face,” the report warns.

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