Most workers see smart robots as aid to their jobs, not threat

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There’s been much talk about the impact advances in artificial intelligence and robotics will have on human workers, including the fate of their jobs. The fact is, smart robots and the AI that powers them can help people do their jobs more effectively rather than take them away—and people seem to understand that.

For example, a new global survey of nearly 3,000 workers by research firm Coleman Parkes Research and The Workforce Institute at Kronos, a provide of workforce management software, found a prevailing “cautious optimism” when it comes to AI in the workplace. Four out of five employees surveyed (80 percent) see significant opportunity for AI to create a more engaging and empowering workplace.

Younger generations are quicker to embrace the potential of AI, with 88 percent of younger employees saying they think AI can improve their job in some manner and create a fairer working environment.

In a recent report, research firm Gartner Inc. forecast that by 2020 AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.

See Also: Who's afraid of the big, bad robot?

The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry, Gartner said. Through 2019, healthcare, the public sector, and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025.

By 2022, one in five workers engaged in mostly non-routine tasks will rely on AI to do a job, the Gartner report said.

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