'Machines will rule workplace by 2025'

Factory robot seen at the Wo Bit company building in Poland in July 2018

The World Economic Forum has issued a report stating that over the next decade AI could create nearly double the number of jobs that it will destroy.

Machines and automated software will be handling fully half of all workplace tasks within seven years, a new report from the World Economic Forum forecasts. Still, the conventional wisdom among many business executives is that AI will also create new jobs. So that doesn't mean companies expect to have fewer jobs.

Instead, technological changes such as high-speed mobile Internet and cloud technology, artificial intelligence, robots and automation are expected to drive a "significant shift on the frontier between humans and machines when it comes to existing work tasks between 2018 and 2022".

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Many new jobs may be less secure than in the past, as businesses are increasingly turning to contractors and freelancers, the Swiss foundation said. Upon conducting the survey which accounted for roughly 70% of the global economy, the WEF estimates that development in automation technologies and AI could displace 75 million jobs by 2022, yet create another 133 million new roles as companies rework the division of labor between humans and machines. A McKinsey report in December produced one of the rosier assessments, forecasting jobs lost and created by new technology might be about equal by 2030. During this implementation period, the person involved develops valuable new skills in AI which can be translated over to other areas where businesses want to use AI and can be used to manage a "team" of AI bots. A Bank of England study in 2015 produced some of the bleakest figures, forecasting that as many as 80 million jobs in the USA and 15 million in the United Kingdom could be lost by 2035.

Roles that distinctly leverage "human skills" such as sales and marketing professions, innovation managers and customer service workers, are also set to experience increasing demand, WEF noted.

By the year 2025, robots will do half our work-but they won't won't take our jobs, say experts. It warned there's a significant gap between the skills workers now have and those that may be required for future new roles.

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