In a bleak new report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts heavy job losses to automation and robotics over the next four years as technological advances significantly reshape the industrial landscape.
The WEF outlines its grim forecast for the labor market in “The Future of Jobs,” a report published on Monday, suggesting that the influx of automation will affect every industry and geographical region, and not just established markets. The report has emerged just days before the WEF’s annual meeting at Davos, which will run from Jan 20-23.
Calling the transformation “the fourth industrial revolution,” the WEF said that though employment may grow in certain areas, a net loss of more than 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies can be expected by the year 2020.
The “Revolution” involves greater synergy among “previously disjointed fields” such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, the report states, a phenomenon that will cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years.