The fourth industrial revolution, characterised by artificial intelligence, is well underway, but figures suggest this might not mean a step forward like the name suggests.
There have been some serious breakthroughs in the past few years around intelligent robots and machine learning, but PricewaterhouseCoopers Economist Jeremy Thorpe believes this spells bad news for Australians.
“Over the next 20 years, approximately 44 per cent of Australian jobs, that’s more than 5 million jobs, are at risk of being disrupted by technology – whether that’s digitalisation or automation,” Thorp said.
And it’s not just Jeremy who believes this.
Principal Scientist at CSIRO, Stefan Hajkowicz, has gone on record saying he thinks white-collar workers are about to feel these negative effects.
“The sort of job losses we did see in the Australian car manufacturing sector are going to be seen across administrative and financial service sectors in downturn CBD postcodes.
“That’s the big challenge that lies in front of us,” Hajkowicz said.
Australians have enjoyed significant growth in white-collar opportunities over the past 30 years, but it seems this growth is about to do a backflip.
Mr Thorp comments that, while we were the beneficiaries of globalisation, Australians will now be up there in the hardest hit when the digital intelligence begins to take over.
“We will not only see growth temper, we will actually see a decline in those sorts of jobs.”
Article based on Carrington Clarkes ABC report.