According to a new study from Oxford Economics, a rise in artificial intelligence will result in an increase in “income inequality” as they estimate 20 million manufacturing jobs will be lost in the next 11 years. In China alone, there could be 14 million robots taking work currently done by humans by 2030. In the European Union, as many as two million jobs will be replaced by robots. While in the United States, more than 1.5 million workers would have lost their employment to technology by 2030.
The Oxford Economics report predicts the use of robots worldwide has increased threefold over the past two decades to 2.25 million.
The authors said: “As a result of robotisation, tens of millions of jobs will be lost, especially in poorer local economies that rely on lower-skilled workers.
“This will therefore translate to an increase in income inequality.”
However, researchers noted how “robotisation” has the potential to boost productivity and economic growth.
They predict a 5.3 percent rise in global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2030 should the use of robots turn up to be 30 percent more than forecast.
The report said: “This equates to adding an extra $4.9 trillion per year to the global economy by 2030 (in today’s prices) — equivalent to an economy greater than the projected size of Germany’s.”
Highlighting the rapid spread of artificial intelligence, the report claims the number of robots put to work in the past four years is the same as how many installed in the workforce over the eight years previous.
The report remained positive about the use of automation and urged lawmakers not to stand in the way of robots in the workplace, despite the threat of job losses.
The researchers said: “These findings should not lead policy-makers and other stakeholders to seek to frustrate the adoption of robot technology.
“Instead the challenge should be to distribute the robotics dividend more evenly by helping vulnerable workers prepare for and adapt to the upheaval it will bring.”
The report continued: “Explore all policy options, from infrastructure investments to training initiatives and innovative welfare programs such as universal basic income.
“Adopt a ‘lifetime learning’ mindset.
“There are no jobs for life.”