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Science
05 Sep 2016

Study predicts loss of 5 million jobs

A World Economic Forum study called 'Future of Jobs' has predicted that around 5 million people will lose their jobs by 2020.

The prediction comes in the light of the advent of robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology etc. which will potentially replace human workers in certain sectors.

In context

Jobs of the future: Technology and its impact

Brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Humanity is standing on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which will be characterized by cyber-physical systems as the growing fusion of technologies blurs the lines between digital, biological and physical spheres.

Impact

Retraining facilities needed to avoid massive unemployment

According to the study, clerical and manual workers will bear the brunt of the impact.

The study predicts the creation of 2.1 million jobs which would require specialists in computing, engineering, mathematics etc.; skills which former manual and clerical workers are unlikely to have.

Therefore, employers and governments in every sector have been urged to set up retraining facilities to avoid massive unemployment.

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Why retraining is crucial for the future

"Without urgent and targeted action today, to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with future-proof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality" said Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum.

Skill sets

The skills required for future jobs

The job market of the future will have very different criteria.

According to David Deming, Associate Professor of education and economics at Harvard University, soft skills like negotiating and sharing will take on a lot of importance, and single-skill jobs will decline.

In knowledge-based economies of the future the most lucrative opportunities would go to people who combine interpersonal skills with technical skills.

19 Jan 2017

Robot journalist makes debut in China

On Wednesday, a robot journalist made its debut in China's daily newspaper; it wrote a 300 characters article in one second.

According to scientists, the article focused on the Spring Festival travel rush.

Wan Xiaojun, a professor at Peking University leading the team studying and developing robots said that Xiao Nan, the robot, is able to write both short stories and longer reports.

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