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A quarter of Brits believe their jobs will be replaced by robots in 10 years

After Foxconn replaced 60,000 employees with robots and Adidas decided to bring its shoe business back to Germany through the use of a fully automated factory, it seems that robots may be replacing human workers much sooner than we thought.

OpenText, which develops and sells enterprise information management (EIM) software, has released new research that confirms this belief. The Canadian company surveyed 2,000 people living in the UK to find that 42 per cent of Brits believe that their job could be replaced by a robot by the year 2066. However a quarter (25 per cent) of respondents think that this could happen much sooner and may even occur with the next 10 years.

The survey highlighted the different opinions on the subject held by the younger and older generation of those in the UK. Younger workers held a strong belief that their jobs would be replaced by robot technology with 1 in 5 (19 per cent) 18-24 year olds stating that they sometimes or frequently worry about this issue.

The older generation on the other hand rarely, if ever, worries about robots taking their jobs. This may be due to how much closer they are to retirement but of those surveyed, 73 per cent of 45-54 year olds said that they never worry about being replaced by robot technology.

The CEO of OpenText, Mark Barrenchea, commented on the coming Digital revolution: “This Digital Revolution will bring an increasing reliance on self-service technology, machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and artificial intelligence. These will completely transform the workplace as menial tasks, and some non-routine jobs, are digitalised through robotics and process automation. As many as 25 to 40 million jobs globally will disappear as a direct result of extreme automation and extreme connectivity, with the greatest losses occurring in white-collar office and administrative roles.

"We shouldn’t, however, fear this disruption. M2M communications will enable machines to process data and make decisions based on this data as we move toward more intelligent, cognitive systems. In many cases, the intelligence these systems deliver will be more accurate, immediate and safer than humanly capable.

"The economic impact of digital is vast. Businesses that use the Internet tend to grow more quickly, export two times as much as those that don’t, and create more than twice as many jobs. Despite these statistics, many companies are off to a poor start on the journey toward digital transformation.

"While organisations are taking advantage of digital technologies, many economies remain digitally immature. This means that the ability to unlock the value of digital is far from being realised.”

Image Credit: Tatiana Shepeleva / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.