Obama: Tech Is Biggest Challenge To Employment But Also Africa’s Biggest Entrepreneurial Enabler

Obama: Tech Is Biggest Challenge To Employment But Also Africa's Biggest Entrepreneurial Enabler

Despite the advances it has enabled, technology is the biggest threat to employment, says former President Barack Obama.

Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, he said economic forces and globalisation “powered by new technologies” helped the world in the last few decades prosper and “unleashed entrepreneurial talents”. He has previously praised how Africa has used technology, especially mobile, to be more innovative.

Giving his highest profile speech since he left politics, Obama used the occasion to its fullest in a stirring talk exemplifying the power of economic growth and globalisation to uplift people’s lives. But warned about the […]

Building an AI safety net

Artificial intelligence and related technologies will create as many jobs as they destroy in the UK over the next 20 years, according to PwC. The consultancy says its current forecasts suggest that the overall net effect of AI on UK jobs may be broadly neutral.

The economic sectors set to see the largest net increase in jobs due to AI over the coming two decades include health (+22%), professional, scientific and technical services (+16%) and education (+6%), according to PwC forecasts .

However, there’s bad employment news for others. The largest net long-term decreases in jobs will be in manufacturing (-25%), […]

Think SA’s unemployment is bad now? Automation could kill another 4.5m jobs – expert

Think SA’s unemployment is bad now? Automation could kill another 4.5m jobs – expert

JOHANNESBURG — This article takes a rather realistic (and possibly even bleak) look at how 4IR tech, such as automation, could eliminate millions of jobs in South Africa. While I have no doubt that automation will create new jobs that we haven’t even heard of yet, what’s clear is that highly skilled workers will be able to adapt while low-skilled workers may find themselves unemployed in huge numbers. This will hit South Africa hard as our government has, quite frankly, failed in sufficiently skilling up the majority of the country’s population for the 21st Century. This article should serve […]

Productivity Remains as Paradoxical as Ever, Despite Digital Transformation

Productivity Remains as Paradoxical as Ever, Despite Digital Transformation

The evolution of the future of work looks a lot like the past, but probably with more Uber and Deliveroo drivers, at least if you believe the Productivity Commission. In fact, it turns automation might not be the harbinger of the great employment apocalypse after all, despite a plethora of commentary and dystopian angst to the contrary.

Instead, the evidence of the last hundred years suggests that labour markets have been pretty well resilient to ‘shocks’ posed by new technologies including the upheavals caused by the arrivals of the latest global digital giants.

That’s the view of the Deputy Chair of […]

Robots on the job could ‘automatically’ mean losing yours

Robots on the job could ‘automatically’ mean losing yours

Are modern technological innovations now of such intensity and scale that in the future it is likely to see fewer job opportunities across the Western world and a sharp increase in leisure time? The disruption caused to the job market by Industry 4.0, robotization and the rise of people-free delivery services is already well-documented. There is evidence to suggest that changes will happen on a significant socio-economical scale, compared with the sporadic technical upgrades we have seen until now.

However, it raises several interesting questions: as a workforce are we ready, socially and psychologically, for an increase in leisure time?

Can […]

With changes in education and fair wages, technology can be a worker’s friend

With changes in education and fair wages, technology can be a worker’s friend

In a speech in Perth to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Karen Chester, the deputy chair of the Productivity Commission, has provided a bit of pushback on the doom and gloom scenarios about the future of work. But that does not mean things will all go smoothly. Chester argues for changes to education and greater incentives to move into work not able to be automated to ensure technology provides “not just more jobs but jobs for most”.

The easy headline – especially given numerous recent studies such as those done by the IMF – is to be fearful […]

AI will force millions to switch careers over the next two decades: PwC

AI will force millions to switch careers over the next two decades: PwC

AI will not result in large-scale unemployment, but it will force millions to retrain and switch careers over the next 20 years, according to a report by PwC.

The report found that AI will create around the same number of jobs as it destroys, dismissing previous fears that it would lead to rampant unemployment. However, it also found that there will be “winners” and “losers”, with some industries seeing significant decline in jobs while others will see a rise.

“Major new technologies, from steam engines to computers, displace some existing jobs but also generate large productivity gains,” […]

Nicholas Carr was right IT died, but was resurrected

Nicholas Carr was right IT died, but was resurrected

Some wounds cut so deep to the heart of one’s identity as a professional, that they never completely heal. Instead, they fester for years and occasionally reopen by random bits of news. By that measure, Nicholas Carr cut into the heart of IT professionals in his seminal paper, IT Doesn’t Matter , arguing that IT had become commodified to the point that it offered little competitive advantage.

Carr was less overtly confrontational in his subsequent book , where he (or his editors) attempted to assuage professional sensitivities by turning the statement into a question. However his fundamental thesis was unchanged […]

AI To Create Jobs, Claims PwC Report

AI To Create Jobs, Claims PwC Report

Artificial intelligence will create as many jobs as it displaces by boosting economic growth, says analyst

The arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) will be a win for the UK jobs market as it will create as many jobs as it displaces by boosting economic growth over the next 20 years.

This is the claim in a new report from PwC , which found that although the overall effect on UK jobs is estimated to be broadly neutral, there will be “winners” and “losers” by industry sector.It comes after Oxford University researchers last Autumn warned that 80 percent of jobs in transportation, […]

The great automation scare

IF you happen to visit a McDonald’s outlet in the United States in the next couple of years, chances are very good that your order won’t be taken by an actual human, but by a computerized kiosk. Other restaurant chains have already piloted variations of the concept. McDonald’s intends to implement it on a massive scale, installing it in all its US stores by 2020.

In an opinion piece for Forbes published over the weekend, former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi put the blame for the drive for automation of the sort his former company is implementing on higher labor […]