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These tech jobs may disappear in the face of automation

The question has only grown in its timeliness over the course of 2020, with the pandemic-related economic crisis accelerating the corporate need to slash costs and streamline work.

Demand for automation increases in times of economic strain, based on data from previous recessions: A 2016 report by researchers at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and Yale looked at 87 million job postings before and after the Great Recession, and found that the downturn in fact accelerated what they called “routine-biased technological change.” A more recent report in September this year from McKinsey found that of 800 executives surveyed, nearly half noted that their adoption of automation accelerated “moderately,” and roughly 20% reported “significantly increasing” automation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We think it’s all gradual, but actually, there are spikes, and we may be in one right now, where AI technology has been getting better and better and commoditized, and getting cheaper through the last decade,” Brookings Institution researcher Mark Muro told Yahoo Finance.

Low-skilled jobs like cashiers, truck drivers and assembly-line workers are typically thought of as the first in line to be fully displaced when it comes to automation. But even high-skilled workers like software developers have room for at least parts of their work to be streamlined, according to Muro.

“I think in the near-term, it can be viewed as complementary. It may remove boring work and so on. But that’s really always the story with these technologies,” he added. “And they eventually contribute to efficiencies and productivity and usually do reduce the headcount. We probably shouldn’t beat around the bush on that.”

A Brookings paper from November 2019 that ranked professions on their relative exposure to AI, listed computer programmers as the occupation third most exposed, following market research analysts and sales managers at first and second, respectively.

But exposure — which could involve simply having workers use AI tools as part of their day-to-day tasks — isn’t always the same as fully replacing the workers themselves. That said, substitution of individual tasks in coders’ and developers’ jobs is already in full swing, according to Ravin Jesuthasan, author and member of the World Economic Forum’s Steering Committee on Work and Employment. Read more via SportsGrinderEntertainment

Pemo Theodore

Pemo is a Media Publisher & Event Producer. She is CoFounder/CEO Silicon Valley TV She is the Executive Producer of FinTech Silicon Valley & organizes Bay Area FinTech meetup: Silicon Valley FinTech meetup & Blockchain Music meetup with almost 3k members. She has produced Silicon Valley Events for Investors & Startups 7 years. She video interviews venture capitalists & angel investors & FinTech experts. She partners with videographers to cover San Francisco Bay area startup conferences & meetups with livestreaming, video & foto packages Silicon Valley TV She is based in Silicon Valley & has been involved in online business for 14 years. She has been in small business for 46 years in Ireland, London, Canada & Australia. She also published a free ebook (the findings of 1 year research from VCs, angels & women founders) “Why are Women Funded Less than Men? a crowdsourced conversation” She was TheNextWomen‘s most prolific contributor of 2011. Silicon Valley TV has been noted as a platform for supporting high growth women led companies in Huffington Post

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