(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Jobs in manufacturing, transportation and retail are most likely to be automated in the near future, it was discussed during a recent CIOMajlis roundtable led by global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company.
Individuals with a low to medium level of education are at the greatest risk of being adversely impacted by this change. McKinsey sums this population into a figure - 57 per cent being individuals with a high school education or less are suspected to be negatively impacted by job automation. This figure drops by half to 22 per cent for employees with a bachelor's or higher degree of education.
Other individuals predicted to be displaced by job automation in the Middle East are expats, specifically in the administration, government, manufacturing and construction industries. Given the technological nature of job automation, expats in more human-centric professions such as arts, entertainment, recreation, healthcare and education will experience a slower and indirect wave of displacement.
Conducted every month, CIOMajlis is a Smartworld initiative that gathers chief information officers from around the UAE and invites them to discuss current technology-related trends.
With the UAE rapidly accelerating towards a smarter future, job automation has been a topic of great debate. The UAE is currently one of the top five countries in the Middle East with the highest technical automation potential. Neighbouring GCC countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, exhibit a similar affinity for artificial intelligence and automation, with the projected adoption of automation by 2030 being higher than the projected global average of 32 per cent.
With over 20 million professionals in the Middle East, 40 to 45 per cent can potentially be automated given current digital tools and resources. McKinsey and Company projects this figure to reach 55 to 60 per cent by 2030.
While an increase in unemployment is always a concern associated with job automation, this technological leap is predicted to positively contribute to the evolving gig economy, create a host of tech-augmented jobs and introduce a shift from basic skills to those that require higher cognition. Governments and economic leaders will have to aid the economy's growth by combining the strengths of human capital and artificial intelligence.
"In all six Middle Eastern countries examined, $366.6 billion in wage income and 20.8 million full-time employees are associated with activities that are already automatable today," a report by McKinsey and Company estimates.