The automation of workplaces combined with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of job losses across various industries, leading to an existential crisis among workers. The pace of automation and technology deployment is only expected to increase over the next few years as businesses aim to digitalise their operations.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess people’s views on what percentage of their jobs could be done by technology today.
Analysis of the poll results shows a mixed response, with 41% of the respondents believing that technology could perform more than 60% of their job. While 24% opined that technology could perform 81%-100% of their job, 17% believe that it could perform 61% to 80% of their job.
A lesser 15% opined that 41%-60% of their job could be done by technology. Technology could do up to 40% of their job according to 43% of the respondents, including 29% who believe that up to 20% of their job could be done and 14% who opined that 21%-40% of their job could be done by technology.
The analysis is based on 5,842 responses received from the readers of Verdict between 03 August 2020 and 18 May 2021.
Impact of technology and automation on human jobs
Companies and businesses have accelerated deployment of new technologies in their operations since the onset of the pandemic to minimise costs, improve productivity and reduce dependency on people. The adoption of technologies such as cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), and 3D and 4D printing and modelling at workplace could lead to substantial reduction in employing humans.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that the increased use of technology and automation is expected to displace 85 million jobs by 2025. Technology is currently performing 30% of overall tasks, while humans are doing the remaining 70%, a ratio that is expected to shift to 50:50 in the next few years. Adoption of technologies in industries such as mining could improve safety as new-age robots are being designed to perform majority of the tasks at the mine sites but reduce the overall workforce at a mine site.
Although technology and automation have disrupted several industries, automation in sectors such as healthcare can only complement people but not replace them. Experts aver that leveraging technology in medicine can free up doctors’ time as well as produce better results but replacing humans with technology in healthcare will have a detrimental effect as empathy and human touch are essential needs for patients.