45 percent of American jobs will be done by computers in 20 yearsS

Thought your job was safe? Not so much, say researchers at University of Oxford's James Martin school. There, a group of futurists have published a report warning that 45 percent of jobs currently done by humans will be computerized in 20 years — including engineering jobs.

Image by Thomas Jackson

Technology Review's Aviva Hope Rutkin has read the report (which is not currently available online), and explains:

The authors believe this takeover will happen in two stages. First, computers will start replacing people in especially vulnerable fields like transportation/logistics, production labor, and administrative support. Jobs in services, sales, and construction may also be lost in this first stage. Then, the rate of replacement will slow down due to bottlenecks in harder-to-automate fields such engineering. This “technological plateau” will be followed by a second wave of computerization, dependent upon the development of good artificial intelligence. This could next put jobs in management, science and engineering, and the arts at risk.

The authors note that the rate of computerization depends on several other factors, including regulation of new technology and access to cheap labor.

Which — does this also mean we will have AI in 20 years too? Wow, that's happening faster than I thought!

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