Robots may take over fifty percent of all jobs in Japan within the next twenty years with jobs as security guards, receptionists, taxi drivers, and other jobs in the service industry, according to a new research.
The Nomura Research Institute (NRI) – an IT consulting firm in Japan – released a report on December 2 which stated that within the next ten to twenty years, almost half of the jobs in the country that are currently performed by humans could be taken over by robots.
A 2013 study conducted by Michael Osborne, an Associate Professor in Machine Learning at Oxford University, found that 35 percents of jobs in the United Kingdom and 47 percent of jobs in the United States may become computerized in the future. Osborne also collaborated with the Japanese researchers on the new study.
Yumi Wakao, lead-researcher of the new study and a researcher at Nomura Research Institute, said that in Japan a lot of data-inputting jobs are still done by humans. According to her, the new research shows that robots could perform jobs which involve more repetitive tasks, and at the same time let humans pursue jobs that require analysing abstract thoughts, creativity, empathy, negotiation, and communication – something that robots would have a hard time doing.
In July, a hotel featuring robotic employees at the front desk opened in Japan. The hotel is called Henn-na Hotel, and it is located in the theme park Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki, Southern Japan.
In their study, Professor Osborne and Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey, Economics Associate of Nuffield College and Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at the Oxford Martin School, looked at more than 700 types of jobs and suggested that labour in production occupations, logistics and transportation occupations, as well as administrative support could become computerized.
Japan’s efforts to increase robotic workers come as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned he would cut funding for liberal arts courses. To improve the technology industry – in which Japan already excels – Shinzo Abe even advocated a ‘robot revolution’.
That being said, the Nomura Research Institute stated that before a robotic worker ‘army’ can be created, some improvements in the country’s infrastructure need to be done first.
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