As automated employees begin to fulfill not just physical roles but also cognitive ones, workers can be safe in knowing that history has proven humanity’s staying power.
Researchers have concluded unanimously that automation will make improve our ability to do our jobs, boost wages and make the world a better place, according to a report from Deutsche Bank.
Employment-to-population ratios are down in OECD countries are no lower than they were in the early 1990s, with the UK’s at its highest level since records began. Figures suggest that advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have yet to have a significant impact on unemployment rates, with only nine per cent of jobs forecast to be eliminated by robots over the coming years.
“It’s now 250 years since the first industrial revolution and constant labour saving improvements has had no structural long-term impact on the unemployment rate,” said Deustche Bank’s Jim Reid.
“So we say, learn to love your robot colleague rather than feel threatened.”
In the UK, Deloitte has estimated that the number of accountants have doubled in proportion to the workforce since the 1980s, in spite of the great strides made in automation in the fintech sector.
Wages are also expected to increase alongside advances in AI, just as they have done during previous waves of technology. Reid believes although middle-skill jobs are being reshaped by tech, resulting wage growth for low-skilled workers will close the gap between those at the bottom and those at the top.
It is “too easy” to blame automation for real wage stagnation and the hollowing out of jobs, he continued, with too many other factors at stake. Instead, while regulation of automation is necessary, putting up barriers to technological progress would be “holding back living standards”.