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Automation threatens a quarter U.S. jobs by 2030: study

2019-01-28 15:25

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Approximately 25 percent of U.S. employment will "face high exposure" to automation by 2030, with greater than 70 percent of current task content at risk of replacement, a study from the Brookings Institution has found.

The report, named "Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places," was released Thursday on the website of the Washington D.C.-based think tank.

Some 36 percent of U.S. employment will experience "medium exposure" to automation by 2030, and another 39 percent will experience "low exposure," according to the study by Mark Muro, Robert Maxim and Jacob Whiton.

Automation and AI will affect tasks in "virtually all occupational groups" in the future but the effects will be "of varied intensity," drastic only for some, the report found.

Among the most vulnerable jobs are those in office administration, production, transportation, and food preparation, the report found. Such jobs are deemed "high risk," with over 70 percent of their tasks potentially automatable.

The "more secure jobs" include occupations ranging from complex, "creative" professional and technical roles with high educational requirements, to low-paying personal care and domestic service work characterized by "non-routine activities" or the need for interpersonal social and emotional intelligence, the report said.

It also noted that smaller, more rural communities are significantly more exposed to automation-driven task substitution, and smaller metropolitan areas more vulnerable than larger ones.

Besides, the authors pointed out that AI-era automation would affect demographic groups unevenly, with men, young workers and underrepresented communities more vulnerable.
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