Automation and Digital Workforce

Posted by Arup Das on March 9, 2018

With the growth and hype of AI and machine learning, technology has driven the world to rapidly advance. Automation will change the way businesses operate; Businesses who utilize the use of automatic technology will leverage a competitive advantage over their competitors. However, the rise of automation will undoubtedly affect the force.

First of all, what is automation?

Automation is the use of technology to operate systems automatically without human assistance.

How will automation affect the workforce?

Automation will not only affect blue collar workers, but it will also affect some white collar workers. Blue collar workers are at the highest risk because of their high potential automation implementation. Almost one-fifth of the time spent in US workplaces involves physical activities or operating machinery in a predictable or repetitive environment. Technology will outperform these workers at a lower cost, effectively replacing them. According to a new study done by McKinsey, a management consulting firm, about 50% of current work activities are technically automatable by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. By 2030, 15% of the workforce will potentially be displaced by the adoption of automation. However, automation will have a lesser effect on job that involve creativity, applying expertise, and social interactions.

What will this mean for the future?

Jobs will undoubtedly be automated and workers will be displaced, but new jobs will also be created. McKinsey expects that 8 to 9 percent of 2030 labor demand will be in new types of occupation that have not existed before. Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work lays out the three categories that the new jobs will fall under: 1) coaching people to expand their skills, 2) caring for others to improve their health, and 3) connecting human and machine. Displaced workers will have to adapt and shift occupational categories to careers that require more logical reasoning and creativity; The demand for higher education will be higher. Globally, up to 375 million workers may need to switch occupational categories.

“Jobs will change. The economy will expand, and our need to toil will be reduced. This will not decimate mankind – it will elevate it.”