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AI threatens 16% of jobs —study

The introduction of artificial intelligence in several industries threatens to displace as much as 16 percent of workers, according to IT-BPM firm Accenture Philippines.

“New (separate) research by the World Economic Forum and Accenture suggests 16 percent of jobs are at risk of displacement in five production industries after accounting for potential job gains. But demand for labor will rise in parts of the value chain and in some locations," Ambe Tierro, senior managing director at Accenture Philippines, said.

According to ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2018 report, 47 percent of BPO workers in the Philippines worked at process-driven tasks requiring little abstract thinking.

As of end-2016, the BPO sector has created 1.15 million jobs, data from the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines showed.

The emergence of artificial intelligence as well as automation threaten even cognitively oriented but routine jobs such as customer support services, according to ADB chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada.

To address the issue, Tierro said job roles need to be reconfigured.

“While automation may displace some jobs, it also created jobs for those who will code the software,” she said.

The ADB report said that there will be new opportunities driven by greater demand for more complex BPO services, which can expand along with technologies but these require retraining to transition workers from routine jobs to non-routine tasks. —VDS/LBG/MDM, GMA News