30% of jobs could be replaced in logistics – RSA

A new report from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) suggests that one in five business leaders in transport and distribution expect automation to have a high impact in the industry. It suggests that 30% of jobs could be replaced by machinery.

The figures compare with an average of 13% across the UK economy.

The RSA study is called The Age of Automation: Artificial intelligence, robotics and the future of low-skilled work and argues that the deployment of artificial intelligence and robotics could help improve the working environment for people across the UK.

“New technologies could phase out mundane jobs, raise productivity levels, open up the door to higher wages, and allow workers to concentrate on more human-centric roles that are beyond the technical reach of machines. This is just as true for low-skilled workers as it is for high-skilled ones,” it says.

One thousand, one hundred and eleven business leaders were surveyed for the study, which found that fewer than 5% of jobs in medicine, ranging to 25% among those in finance and accounting were replaceable with automation in the next decade. 21% of jobs could be replaced in transport and distribution – the second highest in the economy. Retail was at 15%.

The research by the RSA found that large organisations were leading the way into robotics and automation. 30% of large companies classed themselves as early adopters while 30% were ‘slow adopters’. This was twice the adoption rate of medium sized companies and four times the rate of smaller firms.

If the UK economy is to have a higher performing, higher paid labour market, businesses and public services will need to significantly increase their investment in robotics and AI, according to the RSA.

“Particular attention should be paid to raising awareness of new technology among smaller organisations, most of whom lack the resources to investigate how AI and robotics might benefit them.”
 
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