AI to create more UK jobs than those lost to automation

Many workers in industry sectors such as technology, manufacturing and health have been concerned about how artificial intelligence and robotics may directly affect their employment in the near future.

While we’ve heard numerous stories over the years about how AI will streamline job processes, and robots will even be able to make humans redundant in some industries, there appears to be a battle between furthering this technology, and making sure the UK’s workforce isn’t left out in the cold.

A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers should put both parties at ease as we move into the age of AI.

PwC has found that AI is set to create 7.2 million new jobs in the UK across healthcare, science and education sectors by the year 2037. It predicts that 7 million workers would be displaced by advancements in this technology.

PwC predicts that 20% of jobs in the UK will become automated over the next 10 years. While it says all sectors would be affected, healthcare, science and education will be the biggest winners when it comes to job creation thanks to AI.

While the overall figures even themselves out, it’s not a totally positive picture for every industry. PwC reports that by 2037, wholesale and retail trade will be down by 127 employees due to job displacement.

Manufacturing will see the largest net long-term decrease in jobs due to AI (-25%), with transport and storage coming in second bottom.

“Major new technologies, from steam engines to computers, displace some existing jobs but also generate large productivity gains. This reduces prices and increases real income and spending levels, which in turn creates demand for additional workers. Our analysis suggests the same will be true of AI, robots and related technologies, but the distribution of jobs across sectors will shift considerably in the process,” said John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC.

“Healthcare is likely to see rising employment as it will be increasingly in demand as society becomes richer and the UK population ages. While some jobs may be displaced, many more are likely to be created as real incomes rise and patients still want the ‘human touch’ from doctors, nurses and other health and social care workers.

“On the other hand, as driverless vehicles roll out across the economy and factories and warehouses become increasingly automated, the manufacturing and transportation and storage sectors could see a reduction in employment levels.”

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