AI ‘Apocalypse’ Could Lead to 7.9 Million Job Losses in UK

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    The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has warned that up to eight million workers in the UK could lose their jobs to AI due to the government's current technology policies.

    In a new report released on March 27, the institute says part-time, entry-level and administrative staff will be most affected. This includes administrator, personal assistant, and customer service roles.

    Also read: IMF warns AI could impact 40% of jobs and increase inequality

    AI will disrupt the labor market

    of report identifies two stages of generative AI adoption. The first wave is here now, and the second wave will see companies integrate artificial intelligence more deeply into their processes.

    According to IPPR, generative AI is already impacting 11% of tasks performed by UK workers in areas such as databases and inventory management. Based on an analysis of 22,000 jobs in the country, it said this number could rise to 59% if AI integration increases further during the “second wave”.

    If this were to happen, the impact on the UK labor market would extend to high-paying jobs such as software developers, graphic designers and finance executives, the think tank added.

    But the people most at risk of being replaced by AI technology are women, young people, and people in low-wage jobs such as secretaries, data entry clerks, and marketing professionals.

    “Technology is not destiny and job destruction is inevitable,” said Carsten Jung, senior economist at IPPR. Said.

    “Governments, employers and trade unions now have an opportunity to make important design decisions to properly manage this new technology. If we don't act soon, it may be too late.” he added.

    London-based IPPR estimates in a study that companies will increasingly adopt AI technology, with around 8 million jobs in the UK being lost to AI in a worst-case scenario. There is no benefit to GDP.

    Not everything is hopeless and gloomy

    For Britain, it's not all doom and gloom. IPPR report highlights potential for AI to boost UK economy by her £306bn [~$386 billion] Under appropriate government policies, annual GDP increases.

    In the best case, this “second wave” of AI integration could occur without job losses and could even lead to wage increases of up to 30%. AI also has the potential to free up the workforce to fill gaps related to other societal needs.

    For example, the report suggests that “workers could be reallocated to social care and mental health services, which are currently understaffed.” The IPPR findings highlight the urgency for the UK government to address the double-edged sword of AI.

    Without government action, the worst-case scenario could materialize if companies are left to their own devices, IPPR said.

    Bhargav Srinivasa Desikan, senior research fellow at IPPR, said: “We are in a sliding door moment, where policymakers need to ensure that the labor market adapts to the 21st century without leaving millions behind. We need to formulate a strategy as soon as possible.”

    “It’s important that all workers, not just big tech companies, benefit from technological advances.”

    The UK government is investing around $1 billion in artificial intelligence systems for the public sector as part of efforts to reduce potential job disruption caused by the use of artificial intelligence technology.


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