A quarter of British workers think a robot will replace their job in the next ten years, a study has found.
In a survey of 2,000 UK workers by OpenText, 42% said a robot could replace their job by 2066 – but one in four reckon their careers have another decade if they’re lucky.
There has been much hype around the prospect of humans working alongside robots, and this survey shows British workers are genuinely concerned that technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learnings will render their jobs redundant.
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The younger generation of workers were found to be most likely to believe their jobs could be replaced by robot technology, with one in five 18-24 year olds saying they sometimes or frequently worry about the prospect.
On the contrary, nearly three quarters (73%) of 45-54 year olds said they never worry about it, which could be attributed to their nearing retirement.
Most analysts agree that an increased reliance on self-service technology, machine-to-machine communication and artificial intelligence will transform the workplace as routine tasks, and even some non-routine jobs, are automated.
As many as 25 to 40 million jobs globally will disappear as a direct result of extreme automation and connectivity, with the greatest losses occurring in white-collar office and administrative roles, according to Mark Barrenchea, CEO at OpenText.
“We shouldn’t, however, fear this disruption,” he said. “M2M communications will enable machines to process data and make decisions based on this data as we move toward more intelligent, cognitive systems. In many cases, the intelligence these systems deliver will be more accurate, immediate and safer than humanly capable.”
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The economic impact of digital is vast, Barrenchea added. Businesses that use the internet tend to grow more quickly, export two times as much as those that don’t, and create more than twice as many jobs.
But despite these statistics, many companies are off to a “poor start” on the journey toward digital transformation.
“While organisations are taking advantage of digital technologies, many economies remain digitally immature,” said Barrenchea. “This means that the ability to unlock the value of digital is far from being realised.”