The next five years might see 85 million jobs displaced by new technologies, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), although the trend could be balanced out by the creation of 97 million new roles – subject, however, to businesses and governments putting in extra efforts to upskill and retrain the workforce. While the adoption of technologies that automate human labor has been long-anticipated by analysts, who have predicted the start of the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" for years now, 2020 has come with its share of unexpected events, and they have greatly accelerated changes that could threaten the stability of the labor market sooner than expected. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked most businesses' digital transformation, bringing remote work into the mainstream but also sparking CIOs' interest in new technologies. Surveying 300 of the world's biggest companies, which together employ eight million people around the world, the WEF found that an overwhelming 80% of decision makers are planning on accelerating the automation of their work processes, while half are set to increase the automation of jobs in their company. Industries like finance, healthcare and transportation are showing renewed interest in artificial intelligence, while the public sector is keen to increase the use of big data, IoT and robotics.
Automation has been gradually transforming the workplace for years (think Excel spreadsheets or chatbots). As artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning systems that can learn from each other become more prevalent and smarter (think Alexa or IBM Watson), they continue to replace more manual, repetitive job tasks. Consequently, automation and robots are changing more jobs globally at breakneck speed. A McKinsey Global Institute report suggests that between 400 million to 800 million jobs worldwide will be lost due to automation by 2030. The report claims that the U.S. could lose between 16 to 54 million jobs by 2030.
"The Golden Age of Biology is upon us," said Mayfield Fund's Navin Chaddha commenting on CRISPR gene ... [ ] editing With economic indicators not seen since the Great Depression (U.S. unemployment at 18%, GDP Q1 contraction at 4.8%, forecasted to surpass 30% for Q2) and the U.S. stock market propped up by trillions of dollars in government stimulus and soaring toward record highs, this is either the worst of times, as Fed Chair Powell declared in his April 28 monetary policy address, or the best of times to come. As more than half of U.S. states begin to reopen from the COVID-19 shutdown, one thing remains clear for now: The sharing economy is dead. Long live the distancing economy. To get an understanding of the role that AI will play in driving growth amid the global coronavirus crisis, I had a chance to talk with Navin Chaddha, managing partner of Mayfield Fund and Forbes Midas List investor, on the post-pandemic outlook for private equity investment. He shared Mayfield's thesis for their newest early stage funds which closed at $750 million on March 25, just as 90% of the world was locking down.