Search Results for: automation

Up to a third of UK jobs to be displaced by robots in near future

Up to a third of UK jobs to be displaced by robots in near future 0

The latest report to examine the disruptive potential of robots in the workplace has been published by PwC as part of the firm’s regular Economic Outlook series. The study claims that up to 30 percent of existing UK jobs will be susceptible to automation by robots and Artificial Intelligence by the early 2030s, although in many cases the nature of jobs will change rather than disappear and the change will increase productivity and wealth. This is lower than the US at 38 percent and Germany at 35 percent, but higher than Japan at 21 percent. The report looks in detail at the composition of jobs in different industry sectors and occupations, using machine learning techniques to model the potential impact of AI in the future based on OECD data. The likelihood of automation appears highest in sectors such as transport, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail, and lower in education, health and social work.

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The digital revolution is polarising the labour market and increasing wage inequality

The digital revolution is polarising the labour market and increasing wage inequality 0

The increasing ability of machines to perform cognitive, physical, and social tasks has polarised labour markets by “hollowing out” demand for middle-skill jobs, claims a new report published by IZA World of Labor based on research from economist Michael Gibbs of Chicago Booth School of Business. It suggests that analytical, problem solving, and social and communication skills are likely to be most valued in employees in the future. The new report finds that the advance of technology has opposing effects on jobs. It facilitates automation, creating fewer and less motivating middle-skill jobs. Conversely, it complements social and innovation tasks, creating more interesting low- and high-skill jobs. This causes labour market polarisation, “hollowing out” demand for middle-skill jobs, and increasing wage inequality.

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Employers in industries reliant on overseas workers will be hardest hit by Brexit

Employers in industries reliant on overseas workers will be hardest hit by Brexit 0

Brexit MigrationAccommodation and food services, manufacturing, and transport industries will be hardest hit by limits on movement of EU and non-EU workers following Brexit, a new report has claimed. The latest edition of Mercer’s Workforce Monitor has highlighted how reliant certain sectors of the UK economy have become on EU-born and non-EU born workers, as respectively, 33 percent, 23 percent and 20 percent of accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and transport are made up of non-UK-born nationals, meaning companies in those sectors, and those reliant on them, are especially at risk from the changes in the UK’s migration policy. According to Gary Simmons, Partner at Mercer, “Since 2013, the UK-born workforce has been declining as people retire and we can see how reliant certain industries are on overseas workers filling the gaps. The UK is likely to impose more stringent migration controls in the future and this will reduce the number of overseas workers available.”

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Artificial intelligence to go mainstream in the workplace by 2020, claims report

Artificial intelligence to go mainstream in the workplace by 2020, claims report 0

A new report by Tata Consultancy Services claims that 84 per cent of companies worldwide already see artificial intelligence as essential to their competitiveness while half see the technology as ‘transformative’. The study Getting Smarter by the Day: How AI is Elevating the Performance of Global Companies is based on interviews with 835 major businesses worldwide. It focuses on the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and found that the biggest adopters of AI today are, not surprisingly, IT departments, with two-thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents using AI to detect security intrusions, user issues and deliver automation. However, by 2020, almost a third (32 percent) of companies believe AI’s greatest impact will be in sales, marketing or customer service, while one in five (20 percent) see AI’s impact being largest in non-customer facing corporate functions, including finance, strategic planning, corporate development, and HR.

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What the budget meant for the workplace; experts have their say

What the budget meant for the workplace; experts have their say 0

BudgetAs has been the case with recent UK Government Budget announcements, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Budget addressed a number of issues related to the workplace, technology and infrastructure. It was the first Budget delivered in the post Brexit era and this clearly informed many of the announcements made. While most of the headlines over the past 24 hours have related to the changes to the tax status of the self-employed as a way of raising around £2 billion, the announcements also covered a broad range of topics related to the workplace, HR, technology and property sectors and have drawn an immediate response from key figures in the sector. These include nearly half a billion pounds relief on the vexed question of business rates reforms, a new focus on technical qualifications and a greater investment in 5G and other forms of digital infrastructure. We’ll be having our own say about the implications of the Budget in the near future, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of the key announcements and the reaction of industry experts.

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In a crowd of truths, we can discern and reclaim what it means to be human

In a crowd of truths, we can discern and reclaim what it means to be human 0

This is the second of two responses to an excellent article by Antony Slumbers, the first being this perspective from my mirrored room, in this instance offering that his views offer a far too presumptive picture of how technology will shape our work future. The paragraph headlines are from Antony’s original article. One person’s optimism is another’s pessimism. A decade ago the dream of liberated commute-free teleworking was, to many, the nightmare of enforced seclusion to the soundtrack of the dishwasher. The deployment of robots for the performance of menial tasks creating time and wealth for leisure is another’s horror at the loss of employment and resultant anomic fragmentation and decay. The fatally pointless optimism of Candide’s Dr Pangloss was agnostic in regard to every such outcome. It was positive only because there could be no alternative, and therefore no better alternative.

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UK firm asks 16,000 employees whether their jobs could be done by robots

UK firm asks 16,000 employees whether their jobs could be done by robots 0

robotsUK insurance firm Aviva has asked 16,000 of its employees whether they believe their jobs could be done better by robots. The consultation process will see those people who answer yes retrained for a new role within the business. Research by Oxford Martin School recently warned that 35 percent of jobs in the UK were in danger of automation over the next 20 years. Insurance underwriters were at the top of the list, rated 98.9 percent at risk. Despite frequent warnings that automation will disrupt a wide swath of industries, many workers believe that their own job is safe. This is in spite of warnings such as that from Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, who claimed recently that automation could put 15 million British jobs at risk, equivalent to nearly half of the 31.8 million people who work in the UK. Most recent research backs this up. A White House report from 2016 concluded that between 9 percent and 47 percent of all American jobs are vulnerable, including around 80 percent of jobs paying less than $20 an hour. Image: SoftBank Robotics

Digital transformation and flexible workforce will help drive growth, say senior managers

Digital transformation and flexible workforce will help drive growth, say senior managers 0

Implementing new technologies over the next 12 months is of primary importance for  senior managers, with nearly two-fifths of finance directors saying digital transformation is one of their greatest priorities. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, chief financial officers (CFOs) are focusing on increasing profitability (41 percent) and driving overall company growth (39 percent) in the year ahead, according to research from, Robert Half Management Resources which claims that CFOs and finance directors (FDs) will assume more responsibility for balancing traditional financial responsibilities with developing business strategy. The use of temporary and interim professionals also looks set to continue with a third of CFOs and FDs planning to use temporary staff for business transformation projects to either fill vacated positions or support active expansion. In the long-term, 31 percent of finance executives plan to actively add new permanent positions to implement the company’s digitisation and automation efforts over the next 12 months.

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New book offers a roadmap for workers in the age of smart machines

New book offers a roadmap for workers in the age of smart machines 0

University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Ed Hess and Katherine Ludwig have released a new book, Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age (Berrett-Koehler, January 2017), where they wrestle with the defining workplace question of our era and offer workable solutions for employees to stay relevant. In the book, Hess and Ludwig argue that workers of the world stand at the brink of an unprecedented transformation, as a coming age of smart machines promises to eliminate tens of millions of jobs across the socioeconomic spectrum. The transition to an era of widespread automation will be tumultuous for both companies and employees, and its effects on the fabric of society have not yet been fully considered by workers, government entities or global corporations.

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HR set to be the powerhouse of business in the open economy of 2020

HR set to be the powerhouse of business in the open economy of 2020 0

A new report commissioned by Samsung claims that by 2020, the impact that changes in society and technology will have upon the future of the workplace will elevate Human Resources (HR) to a powerful new role. The arrival of what Samsung calls the open economy will create a new environment in which a breed of ultra-flexible freelancers will prosper. Their arrival will present great opportunities for those organisations that embrace them but there will be significant challenges as well. Automation will be increasingly prevalent, but human skills will also rise in value as whole new job categories will be created around creativity, human judgement and intuition capabilities –positioning HR at the forefront of dealing with the significant industry changes. Emerging technology and artificial intelligence will undoubtedly create great change in many industries but it will also release human workers from mundane and repetitive tasks, liberating a workforce where human judgement and expertise becomes the centre of any organisation’s human resources.

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More people will have smartphones than running water or bank accounts by 2021, claims report

More people will have smartphones than running water or bank accounts by 2021, claims report 0

By 2021, more members of the global population will be using mobile phones (5.5 billion) than bank accounts (5.4 billion), running water (5.3 billion), or landlines (2.9 billion), according to the 11th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2016 to 2021. Strong growth in mobile users, smartphones and Internet of Things connections as well as network speed improvements and mobile video consumption are projected to increase mobile data traffic seven-fold over the next five years.

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Reflections on the future of work from a mirrored room

Reflections on the future of work from a mirrored room 0

This is the first of two responses to an excellent article by Antony Slumbers, in this instance offering that his views offer too conservative a view of how technology will shape the future of work. Dr Pangloss, the teacher of metaphysics in Candide, Voltaire’s hilariously sarcastic attack on Leibnizian optimism, offered a timeless and universal explanation of the most cruel and tragic events as “the best of all possible worlds”. I would argue however that far from creating a landscape of optimism, it facilitates a dismissal of all significant change as an irrelevance given that effectively we have no option other than to happily accept it. For example, whether property transitions to a service or remains locked in its existing institutional quagmire, it doesn’t matter. Either way its fine as it’s the best we can hope for. Accept it, happily. A Panglossian future only looks appealing if you’re –well, Dr Pangloss.

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