Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming industries and can, through productivity contributions, lead to economic development. They will also help solve the social problems of the ‘moonshot’ in fields ranging from wellbeing and climate change.
Around the same time, the essence of jobs and the workplace itself would be changed by these developments. Machines can do more of the tasks performed by humans, supplement the work undertaken by humans, and also do those tasks that go beyond what humans can do. Some jobs will decrease as a result, others will expand, and many more will shift.
While we assume that there will be enough jobs to go around except for serious scenarios), society will have to cope with major changes and dislocation of the workforce. Staff would need to learn new abilities to adapt in the office to the highly capable robots next to them. They will have to switch from declining jobs to growing occupations and in some circumstances, new ones.
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Based on the new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, this executive briefing explores both the potential and threat of workplace automation and AI and discusses some of the critical challenges that policymakers, corporations and individuals will need to address.
Accelerating innovation in AI and robotics provides possibilities for firms, the economy and society.
Automation and AI are not new, but recent developments in technology are expanding the boundaries of what robots can do. Our analysis shows that in order to provide value for enterprises, lead to global development and make once impossible progress on some of our most daunting social problems, society needs these changes. In synopsis:
Rapid development of technology
New generations of more capable autonomous systems are evolving beyond conventional factory robotics and sophisticated robotics in areas ranging from autonomous cars on roads to automated check-outs in grocery stores. Enhancements in devices and materials, including mechanics, sensors and applications, have guided much of this development.
In recent years, AI has made notably major strides as machine-learning algorithms have grown more advanced and have made use of enormous improvements in computational power and the exponential growth in available data to train them. Spectacular breakthroughs in machine vision, natural language processing, and complex games such as Go are making headlines, many involving beyond-human skills.
Potential to transform industries and lead to global growth
These tools are now producing demand across different goods and services, and businesses across industries use them in an array of processes to personalise product reviews, detect irregularities in output, recognise fraudulent transactions, and more. The new generation of developments in AI, including methods that resolve problems of grouping, estimation, and clustering, also offer dramatically more benefit.
About half of the operations carried out by employees (not jobs) may be automated.
Our study of more than 2000 career tasks across more than 800 careers reveals that it is easier to automate some types of activities than others. These require athletic tasks, as well as data storage and data analysis, in extremely predictable and standardised environments. This constitutes around half of the things that individuals perform in all industries. Managing others, having expertise and interfacing with partners are the least vulnerable groups.
Almost all jobs would be impacted by automation, but only about 5% of the occupations will be entirely automated by the innovations currently being shown. Many more jobs have automated parts of their constituent tasks: we notice that in 60 percent of all professions, almost 30 percent of the operations may be automated. This suggests that most staff will work alongside constantly changing robots, from welders to mortgage brokers to CEOs. The character of these professions.
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