Daily Record

8million workers are at risk from AI

Secretarie­s and sales people top the list of under-threat jobs


UP to eight million UK workers risk being replaced by artificial intelligen­ce within five years, a study has warned.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says nearly 60 per cent of tasks currently done by humans could be handed to the rapidly advancing tech.

The IPPR study says the work done by large numbers of people is already under threat, or has been replaced, by AI. Most at risk are secretarie­s, personal assistants, call centre agents, sales people and even authors.

Those least at risk include tradespeop­le, teachers, barristers, dentists and doctors. Among the most protected are chief executives, many of whom drive the roll-out of worker-replacing AI in their firms.

The IPPR analysed 22,000 tasks done by workers and found 11 per cent are already exposed in the first wave of AI. This could increase to 59 per cent in a second wave.

Its worst case would see 7.9million jobs lost and no benefit to the economy. The other extreme is no jobs are lost and there is a £300billion a year boost to the economy.

It says the UK – and rest of the world – is at a “sliding doors moment”. Much depends on action taken to control global tech titans.

The IPPR says the UK government can also encourage people into jobs less likely to be replaced through to a windfall tax on AI computers.

Some big firms have already adopted AI. Last May, BT revealed plans to cut to 55,000 jobs as AI replaces workers.

Carsten Jung of IPPR, warned: “A jobs apocalypse is not inevitable – government, employers and unions have the opportunit­y to make crucial design decisions now that ensure we manage this new technology well. If they don’t act soon, it may be too late.”

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