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Report: machines to replace half the manpower on earth in 5 years

By Wei Qiulin wuzhenwic.org Updated: 2020-10-27

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A robot provides guided tour service for guests at the Light of Internet Expo. [Photo by Du Yang/chinanews.com]

About half of the world's work tasks will be completed by machines by 2025, the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicted after studying 300 large companies with a total of 8 million employees all over the world.

The survey showed that one-third of work is currently being done by machines and that by 2025, this total will exceed half. By then, robots will replace 20 million factory jobs. Among the surveyed employers, more than half said that they would speed up the automation process, with 43 percent of those surveyed expecting to lay off employees due to technological advancement.

The WEF's survey report noted that the emerging "robot revolution" has different effects on different types of work, with low-income and low-level vocational-skilled workers being the most affected. The most threatened jobs are ones with simple repetitive tasks, such as administrative tasks, manual tasks, and data processing tasks.

However, technological changes will also spawn new jobs in several industries, added the WEF. About 97 million jobs will be created, mainly in industries like nursing, big data, and the green economy.

The report also noted that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has accelerated the process of enterprise automation, with employees currently facing the dual challenges of job cuts and being replaced by robots.

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