There is a considerable amount of anxiety among people across the globe. Thesedays, people are talking about automation, its effects on the future of work and whether their skills would be enough to keep jobs in the ever-changing scenarios.The advanced digital technologies like robotics, machine learning and AI have helped in automating various tasks. Automation increases efficiency, productivity, safety and reduces the chances of errors and hence helps in economic growth. But AI and automation will also affect jobs, employment and the overall nature of work. The greater concern of people is which jobs will have high potential when most of the work will be automated in future.
Many activities in the present scenario could be automated by 2030. Even the job-matching sites like Monster and LinkedIn are already changing the way people look for work. Many workers provide their services on digital platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, Etsy, etc. They are showing to the world how work could be undertaken and from where it could be done. Along with the potential benefits, these shifts create confusion among the business leaders, policymakersand even the workers.
McKinsey Global Institute found that almost 50 percent of the activities for which the people are paid can be automated using the demonstrated technologies. In 60 percent of businesses, almost one-third of the activities would be automated. This implies transformations at the workplace and changes for the workers. The feasibility of automation is important but that is not the only aspect that will affect the pace of automation adoption. Other factors that will influence the adoption include the advantages of automation, cost of developing automation solutions and deploying them and labor market dynamics. A research estimates that between zero and 30 percent of hours worked can be automated by 2030, depending on the pace of automation adoption.
However, the effect of automation on employment differs in terms of occupation and sector. Activities that are more vulnerable to automation are those that are physical and carried out in predictable environments. This includes preparing fastfood, operating machines, goods movers and loaders, agricultural field workers, ground cleaners, dishwashers, etc. A few categories of activities like data collection and data processing can be done faster and better with the help of machines. When these activities are automated in future, many jobs, such as accounting, property paperwork and back-office works would be displaced. However, when these tasks are automated, employment would not decline in these occupations, rather the workers will be performing new tasks.
Jobs that are less susceptible to automation include those, in which an individual has to apply its expertise, manage people or interact socially. Tasks, in which machines cannot match human performance, are less vulnerable to automation. Occupations in unpredictable environments including plumbers, baby sitters, gardeners, etc. will also not see much automation by 2030. This is because they cannot be easily automated and also, these jobs do not command higher wages, making automation not so attractive business proposition.
Many people are concerned about the employment opportunities in future. The workers are worried whether enough jobs will be available once the automation takes over the tasks from them. Technology creates employment shifts but it alsocreates new jobs. But the workers have to upgrade their skills in order to sustain in the market.