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AI, Robots to Eliminate 6 Percent of US Jobs by 2021, Report Says

Sep 15, 2016 05:31 AM EDT
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Robots and AI's will be taking over 6 percent of U.S. jobs in the next five years.

According to a report by market research company Forrester, cognitive technologies will start eliminating customer service and transportation jobs as early as 2021. Apart from these industries, the impact will also be felt in logistics and consumer services industries.

The report further details that the disruption will affect mostly office and administrative support staff jobs. By 2025, 16 percent of jobs in the US will be replaced, but the loss will be cushioned by the creation of new jobs at an average of 9 percent, which means only 7 percent will be taken over by robots and AI's.

The 9 percent represents about 8.9 million new jobs in the U.S., which will consist mostly of robot monitoring professionals, data scientists, automation specialists and content curators, the report said.

Robots, artificial intelligence or other cognitive machines are rapidly evolving. These machines are capable of understanding human language and behavior, and are expected to learn even faster than humans.

At the moment, such technologies are still in their simplest forms. Current examples include virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Now, as well as automated robotic systems and even chatbots. But in the next five years, they will evolve and become capable of making decisions on our behalf. An example would be self-driving cars, which are already being explored by Tesla and Uber.

In a report in BBC, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said that artificial intelligence will one day "spell the end of the human race."

"It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate," Hawking said. "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."

According to The Guardian, intelligent machines would be helpful for companies that are looking to cut costs, but not for the employee whose job can easily be automated.

"Six percent is huge. In an economy that's really not creating regular full-time jobs, the ability of people to easily find new employment is going to diminish," Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, said in a report by The Guardian.

"So we will have people wanting to work and struggling to find jobs because the same trends are beginning to occur in other historically richer job creation areas like banking, retail and healthcare."

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