BT boss says “it’s quite possible” that 80 per cent of today’s jobs won’t exist in the future
Gavin Patterson probably doesn't want to worry anyone but he thinks it's "quite possible" that 80 per cent of the jobs that people do today won't exist in the future. Yes, 80 per cent.
Speaking at the HSBC Innovation Summit on Friday, the BT boss said: "It's a combination of ubiquitous networks, ubiquitous data, ubiquitous processing capabilities, sensors in everything, augmented reality, virtual reality; the future looks very, very different."
"Frankly, it's quite possible that 80 per cent of the jobs that people do today won't exist in the future. It's not quite clear where we go from here."
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It's not the first time the BT chief executive has offered up food for thought on the quick-moving nature of technology and its impact on today's companies. In January, he said that cyber attacks have soared 1,000 per cent in just 18 months and that BT's networks were dealing with "hundreds of thousands" of cyber attacks every single day.
"The risk is changing in its nature and becoming more sophisticated," he told delegates at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
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And while hacking isn't new, cyber crime and the methods used have been rapidly developing. Patterson said the financial industry was particularly exposed; a third of cyber attacks unsurprisingly go after it "because that is where all the money is".
There have also been plenty of reports examining which jobs and industries are most at risk from the rise of robots. Research by Deloitte suggested a quarter of all jobs in the business service sector were at risk of automation, and as many as one million could be in danger of becoming obsolete over the next 20 years.
The WEF predicted that expanded automation and artificial intelligence would mark the fourth industrial revolution, which could lead to the biggest upheaval in the labour market for a century.