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Oxford Economics research says 20mn robots expected to be in use by 2030

The fast pace of technological progress means that robots will be able to take over ever more tasks

Analysis company Oxford Economics has released a report looking at the effects of increasing automation going into the future.

Entitled ‘How robots change the world: what automation really means for jobs and productivity’, the report says that the fast pace of technological progress means that robots will be able to take over ever more of the tasks once carried out by humans.

Some its key findings include the fact that there are three times as many robots in use worldwide as there were 20 years ago, up to 2.25mn. In the next 20 years, Oxford Economics cites trends suggesting that figure could reach 20mn by 2030, with much of the growth being driven by China.

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The increasing use of robots is said to boost productivity and growth, but an estimated 20mn manufacturing jobs are expected to be lost to robots by 2030, with those losses disproportionately affecting lower-skilled workers and those in poorer economies.

As reported in the BBC, however, Oxford Economics also found that a 30% rise in robot installations worldwide would create an estimated $5tn in additional global GDP, and considered from a global perspective, new jobs in yet-to-exist industries will be created at the same rate that existing roles are destroyed.

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