Enjoy your job while you can: there is a chance it will taken from you by a robot, warns The Bank of England. The company has presented a research, stating that robots can take over about 50% of jobs in the UK and the USA in the next 10 to 20 years. The biggest threat comes to administrative, clerical and production jobs.
Computers become smarter and more sophisticated, therefore, soon it will be possible to automatize tasks, previously considered “humans-only”. As a result, 80 million Americans and 15 millions British workers might be replaced by machines, says the bank’s chief economist Andy Haldane in the report.
“These machines are different. Unlike in the past, they have the potential to substitute for human brains as well as hands,” Haldane explained.
At the same time, the result will not necessarily be rising unemployment: according to the report, workers will just have to switch to different kinds of jobs. Humans will adapt their skills to the tasks where they continue to have a comparative advantage over machines.
The technology has transformed the workforse before. The biggest change occured in the times of the Industrial Revolution, when the automation of the production processes forsed many low-paid workers to “skill-up” and switch to more complicated tasks.
But today’s situation is different, the experts warn. Modern robots are capable of doing not only manual jobs, but also the ones that require thinking and creativity. “The smarter machines become, the greater the likelihood that the space remaining for uniquely human skills could shrink further,” Haldane notes. The safest from the machines remain the occupations that require empathy, such as care for the children or the elderly, and jobs that require “high-level reasoning”, such as the use of imagination.