Developing countries may need their own strategies to cope with job-taking robots

Thursday, July 12, 2018

By Jamie Condliffe

If it’s true that robots are coming for our jobs, developing countries could have a much tougher time coping with the shock.

new study by the economists Lukas Schlogl and Andy Sumner of King’s College London, written for the Washington think tank Center for Global Development, suggests that there is still a need to consider how developing countries will cope with the rise of automation. Most strategies to help workers displaced by robots, some of which look promising, have so far been devised for developed nations and may not translate to the developing world, they argue.

Much research has gone into investigating what kinds of work might be automatable, and predicting when machines will take over tasks performed by humans. Forecasts vary greatly, but there is a consensus that routine tasks that don’t require emotional intelligence, complex human reasoning, or creativity will gradually be filled by robots and artificial intelligence. Reports by the McKinsey Global Institute and the World Bank both suggest that agricultural and industrial sectors have higher potential for automation than service sector jobs, which typically require creative thinking or face-to-face interaction.

Photo courtesy of Ars Electronica.

Source: New York Times (link opens in a new window)

artificial intelligence, global development