Defying Automation

Globally, Most Workers Think Robots Couldn’t Handle Their Jobs

Do you think a robot could replace you?

1. 22. 19 by Dan Robitzski
Martinelle/Tag Hartman-Simkins
Image by Martinelle/Tag Hartman-Simkins

Humans 1, Robots 0

Advances in artificial intelligence and automation cast such a long shadow over the workforce that a former Microsoft executive recently predicted that technology will displace 40 percent of workers within 15 years.

But a new survey presented Monday to the World Economic Forum suggests that most workers remain surprisingly optimistic in the face of automation: worldwide, most workers believe that at least some aspects of their jobs are too complex for the most advanced robots out there.

Global Optimism

Just about 80 percent of the people who responded believe that only a human could perform most or all of their job.

By and large, participants from Europe and Central Asia were the most confident that their jobs require a human touch, as those regions had the lowest percentages of people saying that technology could do “most of” or “almost all of” what they do in their current jobs. On the other end of the spectrum, 30 percent of participants from South Asia felt entirely replaceable by existing technology, and another 19 percent said that most of their job responsibilities could be automated.



The survey included data from just over 10,000 interviews conducted in 29 countries that covered topics such as the looming threat of automation, economic development, international collaborations, the role and motives of large technology companies, and how jobs might change in the future.

Notably, the survey started off by asking whether participants trust what scientists say about the climate. Fortunately, most did — except in North America, where the survey revealed that a whopping 17 percent didn’t.

READ MORE: Americans Have Lost Faith In Their Ability To Move From Poverty To Riches [HuffPost]



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