McKinsey: “Half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055”

McKinsey: “Half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055”

A new study from McKinsey has predicted that “half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055”. But the report then hedges its bet a little by adding that: “This could happen up to 20 years earlier or later depending on various factors”.

In the main, roles in the work place will be transformed so there is a more collaborative relationship between humans and machines – so there will be an automated element in just about every job function. To quote again from the report: ” While less than 5% of all occupations can be automated entirely using demonstrated technologies, about 60% of all occupations have at least 30% of constituent activities that could be automated. More occupations will change than will be automated away.”

The McKinsey report saw accommodation and food services as the sector offering the most potential for  automation with a 73% rating. Manufacturing and agriculture scored 60% and 58% respectively, while transportation and warehousing scored 57%.

The study includes a number of “case studies”, which consider in more detail how automation could affect specific industries. One of the case studies focuses on the grocery store, which envisages a future where shelves are stocked by robots, consumers walk around the aisles accompanied by automated shopping carts, and drones bring the shopping home.

Click here to download a copy of the McKinsey “Harnessing automation” report.

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