A study by Citi and the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford shows that two-thirds of jobs in South Africa are at risk of being replaced by robots.
The report, titled Technology at Work v2.0: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be, explores some of the most pressing global challenges of the 21st century.
As part of the research, the authors looked at the probabilities of jobs being at risk across the world – which is partly caused by automation.
The researchers used data from the World Bank to show that the risks of automation are higher than previously thought.
Advances in technology are now making a broader range of non-routine tasks automatable, with computers substituting for low-income, low-skill workers over the next decades.
The image below shows the risk of jobs being replaced by automation in various countries.
Protecting against job elimination
The report found that the following characteristics are the least likely to be associated with a job being automated:
- Perception and manipulation
- Creative intelligence
- Social intelligence
“Cities and regions that have invested in skilled industries remain relatively safe from automation,” the report said.
It stated that technological dynamism will remain the best way to maximize employment, and will benefit from new technologies.
“Education is also a very important tool that policymakers will need to leverage in preparation for the effects of accelerated technological change.”