The Robot Revolution is Coming

 In Future of Work

The good news is that by 2022, more jobs will be created by artificial intelligence and automation than those that will be lost, according to a new survey, The Future of Jobs Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). However, the WEF warns that we must proactively plan for this new vision with reskilling, investment in human capital, and workforce strategy.

The survey gathered views from business executives—principally Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs). It had a data set of 313 unique responses from global companies across a diverse range of industries, collectively representing more than 15 million employees.

 

The key findings from the report include:

 

Four specific areas will dominate: High-speed internet; artificial intelligence; big data analytics; and cloud technology will positively affect business growth.

By 2022, automation will create new jobs: While 75 million workers may be displaced, 133 million new roles may emerge—a net gain of 58 million.

We’ll work less: Currently, on average, 71% of total work hours are performed by humans, and 29% by machines. By 2022, this will shift to 58% humans and 42% machines.

Technology will cause many roles to disappear: Jobs that can be replaced by algorithms and machines will be lost, e.g., manufacturing, accounting, administrative, etc.

New jobs will be created: Programmers, data scientists, robotics experts, and other positions surrounding automation and AI will be in even greater demand by 2022. And jobs with distinctly “human skills” will flourish to complement the automation, such as marketing and sales, training and development, people and culture, and innovation managers.

The Robots Revolution is Coming

What does this mean for the future of work?

Governments, organizations, and workers should not be complacent. The report recommends that education must improve, employees need upskilling, and a safety net for workers is necessary.

With new technology changing the workplace, there will be a growing skills gap by 2022. Unfortunately, the workers who need reskilling the most are also the ones who are the least likely to receive it.

“Proficiency in new technologies is only one part of the 2022 skills equation, however, as ‘human’ skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving.”

It is imperative that organizations have a “comprehensive ‘augmentation strategy,’ an approach where businesses look to utilize the automation of some job tasks to complement and enhance their human workforces’ comparative strengths and ultimately to enable and empower employees to extend to their full potential.”

Learn how companies like Newell Brands are embracing technology today and automating their internal communications workflows.

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