A new tool has ranked physicists as the safest for automation, while meat packers and slaughterhouse workers have the riskiest jobs.
Researchers have created a new tool to predict how risky specific jobs are due to automation and AI, and to find the most ‘robot-safe’ alternatives for the workers of the future.
The Automation Risk Index (ARI) is an algorithm that compares how many requirements in a job description can be fulfilled by a robot compared to a human.
It then ranks the importance of these skills and assesses how prepared robots and technology are to currently meet these needs. It uses these findings to determine how likely a task is to be automated.
A team from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland used the ARI to rank 967 jobs in the Occupation Information Network database, which is often used in this type of research.
According to the ARI ranking, physicists are the safest for automation, while meat packers and slaughterhouse workers are the cohort most at risk.
As part of the study, the researchers created a publicly searchable version of the rankings. Users can search for a job title in this resilience index and find out the associated automation risk. They may also find “resilient alternatives”: jobs with a lower automation risk that the person could move to with minimal retraining.
The Resilience Index was tested in 2018 on data from the US workforce, and researchers found that it could successfully reallocate workers into different roles that would increase job resilience and reduce automation risk.
The findings of the study, titled “How to Compete with Robots: Assessing Job Automation Risks and Resilient Alternatives,” are published in the journal Science Robotics of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Earlier this year, research and consultancy firm Forrester suggested that more than a third (34 percent) of all European jobs could be at risk from automation. It also predicted that European companies would spend more than €2.4 billion this year on automation to boost productivity.
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