Humans and Robots: Large Scale Changes from Many Smaller Scale Changes

The Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland has been looking at the impact of automation on employment in Scotland. Their estimate is that 46% of jobs are at high risk of automation. They also identify the primary challenge with this shift as being people’s ability to gain new skills whilst in employment, mid-career.

It’s not at all clear whether human skills can change at a rate that will allow us to outpace AI skills. There are differing views (see also Humans and Robots: Skills, Manufacturing and Construction) on this but I’m not sure we’ve got any choice but to try.

Many societies has been through these changes before, but not at this scale or this pace.

Whilst large changes are being predicted, the big shift will be made up of millions of smaller changes. One example of this are the Artificial Intelligence integrations that Microsoft are making in Microsoft Office. From design advice in PowerPoint to the Focused Inbox in Outlook these automations will soon become second nature to how we work. You’re already dependent upon the AI in the spelling and grammar capabilities. Driving all of these enhancements is AI that Microsoft is training with the data from over 100 million Office 365 users.

Also, there’s a little word from Dilbert at the end.


Automation poses a high risk to 1.2m Scottish jobs, report says

It put forward the recommendations in its Scotland’s Skills 2030 report, which said: “The world of work in 2030 will be very different to that in 2017. People are more likely to be working longer, and will often have multiple jobs, with multiple employers and in multiple careers.

“Over 2.5 million adults in Scotland (nearly 80%) will still be of working age by 2030. At the same time, over 46% of jobs (1.2 million) in Scotland are at high risk of automation.

“We will therefore need a skills system ready to work with people throughout their careers.


Microsoft and Artificial Intelligence’s long relationship is about to deepen


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