AI and Robots Take Millions of Jobs – but Create Even More

Sure, AI, robots and algorithms will take over a lot of jobs that are being run by humans today, but they will create the more. The net is expected to be 58 million by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum.

It is usually mentioned that AI and robotization are a threat to the job. The automation means that people are simply exchanged for software and robots. But a major report from the World Economic Fourm provides a much brighter picture of the future labor market – and it shows that new technology creates significantly more jobs than it destroys in the coming five-year period.

Because although technologies such as automated software, artificial intelligence and robotics are expected to make 75 million jobs disappear by 2022 – they are also expected to have created 133 million new roles in companies around the world.

This would mean a net of 58 million jobs in the future. But for this brighter scenario to take place, some action is required.

We have three main factors:

– The first is about competence policy, and the most important thing is that you start to see education, business policy, and labor market policy as a whole. In the digitalization, these areas are united.

– The second is that employers must gain a clearer benefit from broadening the labor supply, for example through collaboration with educational institutions, that would benefit both companies and society.

– The third is on the individuals themselves, they have to find natural pathways for retraining and further education even when they are 40 or 50 years old. And there must be those available.

According to the report, driving forces for the new jobs are technology trends such as the mobile Internet becoming faster and more accessible, impact on artificial intelligence, big data and the cloud, but it is also about socio-economic trends that education levels in the world are rising and the middle class especially in developing countries the better.

However, it should be pointed out that it is another type of job, “a significant change” in terms of the required skills, geographical location and the forms of employment itself. For example, WEF believes that full-time employment will go down. A lot of companies will use temporary labor, freelancers and specially designed services linked to projects.

What, then, are the skills of the human part of the workforce that will be in demand in the future? The report mentions data analysts and data scientists, software and application developers, e-commerce and social media experts.

In addition, there will be jobs that require specialist knowledge in AI, big data, security, robotisation and the blockchain.

– In addition, you can think about what is required of those who are not experts. There will be higher demands that you know your area, and can put your role in a context, you can call it a context competence.

Otherwise, the report states that companies in the future will take much more into account where there is qualified labor when deciding where to place their work. 74 percent think this is a key factor.

However, other factors lose significance, such as the flexibility of local labor laws or the proximity to raw materials.

Another interesting change that seems to be taking place thus applies to the forms of employment, and although new technologies will mean more jobs, it does not automatically mean that the number of full-time positions is increasing. On the contrary, almost 50 percent of companies state that automation is likely to lead to a “certain reduction” of the full-time staff.

Above all, companies will to a greater extent make use of contract staff working on special projects. Many companies plan to use more flexible forms of employment, with the help of staff who are not physically in the office.

The World Economic Forum’s survey was conducted among human resources managers, strategy managers and CEOs of more than 300 global companies in various industries. The respondents represent more than 15 million employees.

Is there anything that distinguishes Europe in this development?A strength in the so-called party model, that is, the relationship between employers and unions.

– The collective agreements, for example, are better than their reputation. It is, after all, an efficient automation of salary setting, insurance and so on. In addition, the trade unions are traditionally pragmatic and their vision is to secure the opportunity for jobs instead of special jobs.


We monitors and writes about new technologies in areas such as technology, innovation, digitization, space, Earth, IT and AI.

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