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Industry needs more automation, yet workers are worried about jobs

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Figures out tomorrow by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will show a further decrease in labour productivity for the fourth consecutive quarter. As productivity in labour markets decline, businesses are under pressure to increase efficiency to remain competitive.

Companies facing these pressures are looking to automate jobs in the hope of reversing the decline in productivity, with 47% of jobs to be automated in the next 20 years. As many as 98% of IT business leaders state that automating processes is essential to ongoing business success.

“One way to increase a company’s output is the adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It offers an efficient method to decrease costs and increase staff productivity, by reducing errors and repetitive work,” said Ian Pollard, Senior Vice President EMEA at Signavio.

Growing automation in the workplace and artificial intelligence (AI), however, worry two thirds of UK adults, according to the latest research by AI think-tank Fountech.ai. Over 2,000 UK adults were surveyed for the report, which found that 67% believe machines will be taking people’s jobs in the near future. In addition, some 58% find AI tools such as those used by Amazon and Netflix to recommend products “creepy”; and 59% are more nervous about the way their personal data is collected and used since the rise of AI. Nearly 40% of people admitted they do not fully understand what AI means.

In conclusion, states the report, three quarters (74%) want to see the UK government do more to govern the way AI technologies are developed and used.

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