Do Androids Dream of 2049?

By Jennifer Eng | December 5, 2017

Working alongside robots and machines is inevitable: industries all over the world have already begun to incorporate artificial intelligence, automation, and other new developments in technology. The question on everyone’s mind remains: how will automation and AI affect jobs in the future? McKinsey’s latest report indicates that between 400 - 800 million people could lose their jobs to automation by 2030, with up to 375 million needing to completely change occupations. However, per Quartz, “the majority of jobs will only be changed in some way, and more jobs will be created that don’t exist today. The possibility of 800 million people displaced by automation does not mean 800 million people without any work.” Yes, automation will displace jobs, but it will also increase demand for work, creating a whole range of new jobs that do not currently exist. As a result, lifelong learning must become a priority for employers, policymakers, and individuals. Along with supporting job creation and providing income and job transition support to workers, McKinsey’s report reinforces the importance of “scaling and reimagining job retraining and workforce skills development,” particularly “enabling individuals to learn marketable new skills throughout their lifetime.” There will also be continued, rapid growth of jobs in healthcare, specifically for direct care work. The full report examines additional types of occupations that may be created in comparison to the jobs that could be displaced by automation, how automation will affect skills and wages, predictions for how quickly displaced workers will find new employment, and the continued impact of automation over the next 10 years.

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Jennifer is the Marketing Manager at Practice. She has a background in education, hospitality, and publishing, and is an advocate for lifelong learning. Jennifer is a JET Program alumna and a Room to Read volunteer.


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