WEF: Machines to ‘do half of all work tasks by 2025’

Machines to 'do half of all work tasks by 2025'
Routine or manual jobs in administration and data processing were most at threat of automation. Source: GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: A World Economic Forum report has forecast that half of all work tasks will be handled by machines by 2025 in a shift likely to worsen inequality,

A “robot revolution” would create 97 million jobs worldwide but destroy almost as many, the think tank said. The change would leave some communities at risk, it warned.

The WEF said, routine or manual jobs in administration and data processing were most at threat of automation.

But it said new jobs would emerge in big data, care and the green economy.

The World Economic Forum’s research spanned 300 of the biggest companies of the world, who between them employ eight million people around the world.

More than 50% of employers surveyed said they expected to speed up the automation of some roles in their workplace, while 43% felt they were likely to cut jobs due to technology.

WEF said the coronavirus pandemic had sped up the adoption of new technologies as companies looked to cut costs and adopt new ways of working. But the WEF warned employees now faced a double threat from “accelerating automation and the fallout from the Covid-19 recession”.

Saadia Zahidi, managing director at WEF, said: “[These things have] deepened existing inequalities across labour markets and reversed gains in employment made since the global financial crisis in 2007-2008.”

Currently around a third of all work tasks were handled by machines, WEF said, adding that with humans doing the rest, but by 2025 the balance would shift.

Roles that relied on human skills such as reasoning, communicating, advising, decision-making and interacting would rise in demand. There would also be a “surge” in demand for workers to fill green economy jobs, and new roles in areas like cloud computing and engineering.

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