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Economists Develop Technique for Estimating Job Automation by Robots

A workforce of roboticists from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and economists from the College of Lausanne have developed a brand new methodology to calculate which current jobs are extra liable to being automated away by machines within the close to future. 

The examine was revealed in Science Robotics

The workforce additionally developed a way to recommend profession transitions to jobs much less prone to be automated and with the smallest retraining efforts.

Prof. Dario Floreano is Director of EPFL’s Laboratory of Clever Methods and lead creator of the examine.

“There are a number of research predicting what number of jobs might be automated by robots, however all of them concentrate on software program robots, comparable to speech and picture recognition, monetary robo-advisers, chatbots, and so forth,” Prof. Floreano says. “Moreover, these predictions wildly oscillate relying on how job necessities and software program skills are assessed. Right here, we think about not solely synthetic intelligence software program, but additionally very clever robots that carry out bodily work and we developed a way for a scientific comparability of human and robotic skills utilized in a whole bunch of jobs.” 

Growing the Technique

The workforce was in a position to map robotic capabilities on job necessities, which was the key breakthrough of the examine. They appeared on the European H2020 Robotic Multi-Annual Roadmap (MAR), which is a method doc by the European Fee that’s periodically revised by robotics consultants. The MAR particulars which skills are required from present robots or could also be required by future ones. These are organized into classes like manipulation, notion, and interplay with people. 

The workforce analyzed many analysis papers, patents, and descriptions of robotic merchandise to evaluate the maturity degree of robotic skills. They relied on “expertise readiness degree” (TRL), which is a scale for measuring the extent of expertise improvement. 

When it got here to human skills, the researchers used the O*web database, which is a widely-used useful resource database on the US job market. It classifies round 1,000 occupations whereas detailing the abilities and information wanted for every. 

The workforce first selectively matched the human skills from O*web checklist to robotic skills from the MAR doc, which enabled them to calculate how possible every current job is to be carried out by a robotic sooner or later. If a robotic is sweet at a job, the TRL is greater. 

Rating the Jobs 

After finishing up this evaluation, the end result was a rating of 1,000 jobs. One of many lowest on the checklist was “Physicists,” whereas “Meat Packers” was one of many highest. Jobs in meals processing, constructing and upkeep, and development had the best danger.

Prof. Rafael Lalive co-led the examine on the College of Lausanne.

“The important thing problem for society right this moment is how one can turn into resilient in opposition to automation,” Prof. Lalive says. “Our work supplies detailed profession recommendation for employees who face excessive dangers of automation, which permits them to tackle safer jobs whereas reusing most of the abilities acquired on the previous job. By this recommendation, governments can assist society in turning into extra resilient in opposition to automation.”

The authors created a way to seek out any given job another job with a considerably decrease automation danger. These jobs had been additionally near the unique one when it got here to skills and information required, which helps hold retraining efforts to the minimal. 

This new methodology could possibly be utilized in many alternative methods. For one, governments can use it to measure what number of employees might face automation sooner or later. This could assist tailor retraining initiatives and insurance policies accordingly. Corporations might additionally use it to investigate the prices related to automation. 

All of this work was translated into an algorithm that may predict the chance of automation for a whole bunch of jobs whereas additionally suggesting profession transitions. 

You’ll find the publicly accessible algorithm right here.



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