Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, augmented reality, autonomous cars, automation, and other smart technologies haven’t been around for a long time. However, they’re already making quite an impact on most industries and power the next industrial revolution.
For example, AI has been a powerful force in the evolution of interconnected digital supply chains that has been proven to improve demand forecasting accuracy, reducing freight costs, minimizing supplier risks, enhancing warehouse management, and gaining contextual intelligence.
With all these amazing benefits provided by tech trends such as AI, it’s easy to forget that they have certain risks. Naturally, like with any other industrial revolutions before, job loss is one of the main concerns.
Read below to know the most influential trends that will cause a major decline in the next few years.
- Artificial Intelligence-Powered Automation
AI has been around for quite a while, and finally it has reached the point where it significantly impacts people’s lives. According to the latest estimations, the global market of AI solutions is expected to reach $7.35 billion by the end of 2018, and increase to almost $90 billion in 2025.
This means one thing: an increasing number of businesses will adopt AI-powered solutions that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations. For example, they can automate processes that were previously managed by humans.
Many attempts have been made to estimate the number of jobs that will be lost due to AI-powered automation. For example, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute suggested that up to 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide. The report explains such findings by the fact that 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of repetitive work activities that could be automated.
Here’s the complete data.
- Blockchain-Powered Automation
This is another technology that has an enormous potential to increase the efficiency of business operations in many industries. “Blockchain is poised to cause significant disruptions in the finance industry,” says Chelsea Wiese, a financial expert at Write My Essay For Me. “That’s why leading banks are increasingly acknowledging the need to overhaul their operational systems and technology systems.”
The Bank of the Future: The ABCs of Digital Disruption in Finance report by Citi Bank beautifully illustrated the potential impact of blockchain on banks. According to the report, the technology:
“…has a clear advantage relative to the current system as it enables digital transfer of digital assets without the need of an intermediary or a centralized authority”
“…allows smart contracts/tokenization that can automate and execute pre-agreed conditions once they are met.”
With blockchain-powered automation tools up and running, many jobs in the banking industry will be lost. Since many other industries stand to benefit from this technology as well, it’s safe to assume that blockchain will break quite a lot of careers in the next several years.
- The Shift to Autonomous Driving Technology
The U.S. and many other countries are in an urgent need of drivers, and technology could be a huge help. Autonomous driving isn’t quite there yet and had serious problems in recent years, but chances are that it’ll really take off in the next few years. With many companies including Tesla, Mercedes, and Volvo already testing their autonomous prototypes on roads, the future is bright for this technology.
The trucking industry is likely to be the first one that gets disrupted because long-distance driving is much less complicated than driving on urban streets. Leading researchers seem to agree. For example, Steve Viscelli, a sociologist from the University of Pennsylvania who even worked as a truck driver for several months to conduct his research, wrote a report called “Driverless? Autonomous Trucks and the Future of the American Trucker,” where he stated that:
“Autonomous trucks could replace as many as 294,000 long-distance drivers, including some of the best jobs in the industry.”
Viscelli also noted that the technology will create new jobs in the place of the ones that will be lost but
“These new jobs will be local driving and last-mile delivery jobs that— absent proactive public policy—will likely be misclassified independent contractors and have lower wages and poor working conditions.”
- The Rise of the Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT has introduced a lot of great possibilities in our daily lives, but there’s a good chance that it could lead to millions of lost jobs. The estimates vary, but one thing is clear: IoT will be a powerful disrupting force in many industries.
For example, ETTech reported that India alone will lose about 69,000 jobs until 2021 due to a widespread adoption of IoT technology. The areas in which people are more likely to lose their jobs include support staff, office administration and maintenance.
Time to Panic?
Although it seems like we’re on the verge of a profound disruption on the labor market, people with jobs threatened by the aforementioned technology trends shouldn’t despair. Even with tools such as automation, the demand for work and human workers could easily increase as economies get a massive boost thanks to technological advancements.
Besides, there is a wide range of technical, social, and economic factors that affect adoption of technology, so only up to 30 percent of work activities that could be automated will be displaced by 2030, according to the aforementioned McKinsey Global Institute report.