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77% of workers worried machines will take away their jobs

That’s according to a survey examining the impact of AI, by market research company Streetbees. The study was carried out in the UK, the USA, India, Nigeria and South Africa, and covered 3,500 people. Each participant answered questions anonymously via the Streetbees mobile and web app.

Overall, 25% of people in the UK feel their role could be performed by a machine now, while 29% believe they could be replaced by a machine in 20 years. However, in countries such as India and Nigeria, two thirds of respondents felt their jobs would be performed by computers in 20 years.

Despite the fact UK respondents felt secure about their own careers, 67% are worried about machines taking jobs away from people. However, two out of three participants agreed AI was making their lives easier.

Streetbees AI Research Findings

Image: Streetbees

Key findings of the report include:

  • Individuals in accelerating, emerging economies are more concerned by the role of technology in their working lives. Despite these worries, at the same time they are also more optimistic about technology helping them reach their aspirational goals than those in developed markets like the UK and US.
  • There is a considerable difference in the way men and women respond to technological change. Men are more inclined to agree with the benefits of technology, while women are less convinced – and therefore less invested in the idea of it shaping their future.
  • The majority of people believe that a huge range of jobs will be impacted by machines. Data processing and collecting, ‘predictable’ manual work such as carpentry and manufacturing, customer-facing roles such as retail and hospitality, and expert roles such as those in the medical and legal professions are all seen as at risk. Meanwhile, managerial roles and stakeholder interactions are believed to be safe.

You can read the full report here.

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