Mckinsey Global Institute claims western society is on the cusp of an automation age. Robots and computers can perform routine physical work activities better and more cheaply than humans making them increasingly considerable for jobs occupied by miners, bankers, and CEOs. Computers are now able to complete activities that include cognitive capabilities once thought to be too difficult for automation. Robots can now make judgments, sense emotions, and even drive.
A study taken by Mckinsey Global Institute of 46 countries and 800 occupations concluded that by the year 2030 up to 800 million global workers would be replaced by robotic automation. One-third of the workforce in nations like Germany and the United States will have to retrain for jobs. Machine operators and food workers will be most affected.
However, the study also suggested poorer countries, who do not have the money to invest in more advanced technology, will not have to worry about adjusting to the change. For example, India will only have about 9% of jobs replaced. Jobs that require more human interaction, like doctors and teachers, will be less likely to be replaced by automation. Low wage jobs will also remain available to human beings.
On the bright side, the need for an education will grow as people find jobs that require less training become scarce. The study predicts the transition will take place similarly to the 1900’s transition from farm to factory work. Most of the people losing jobs over this period will more than likely maneuver to other fields easily. Moreover, just like the introduction of the personal computer in the 1980’s, it is expected that technology support work and online businesses will prosper.
Mckinsey Global Institute suggests other positive effects which include quality, speed, and productivity. An automated future could mean economic growth and prosperity. Historically, automation has always proven to be more productive which also seems promising.