Rise of the Robots Will Eliminate More Than 5 Million Jobs

Over five million jobs will be lost by 2020 as a result of developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics and other technological change, according to World Economic Forum research.

About 7 million jobs will be lost and 2 million gained as a result of technological change in 15 major developed and emerging economies, WEF founder Klaus Schwab and managing board member Richard Samans said in “The Future of Jobs.” The findings are taken from a survey of 15 economies covering about 1.9 billion workers, or about 65 percent of the world’s total workforce.

The blurred lines between physical, digital and biological spheres amount to a Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to the WEF, which will address the idea as the idea at its annual meeting of policy makers, academics and economists in Davos, Switzerland. It’s already a hot topic thanks in part to books such as ‘The Second Machine Age’ and ‘The Rise of The Robots,’ while Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane has warned that the millions of jobs at risk from automation are creating issues officials need to address.


“To prevent a worst-case scenario — technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality — reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical,” the authors said. (Read more from “Rise of the Robots Will Eliminate More Than 5 Million Jobs” HERE)

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  • Bill Meeker

    I like the line about talent shortages. Let’s get real if only for a moment. Unions are great but when they demand too much pay or special treatment, robots become more attractive. They don’t demand higher wages, overtime, paid maternity leave or vacations and never sue their employer. As governments “watch out” for employees, employers are doing their cost analysis for the break even point.