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Research Shows AI Will Affect 1 in 5 Jobs In Asia By 2024

While AI will be a major growth driver for Asia in the coming decade, it will affect one in every five jobs in Asia

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The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution that is already impacting nearly every industry worldwide, will have far-reaching effects in Asia, according to a recent AI report from the MIT Technology Review. AI will impact one in five jobs in Asia by 2024, eliminating one in eight, but enhancing many as well, said the study, which is based on a survey of 900 business leaders across the continent.

According to the study, 12% of jobs are at a high risk of being automated away in the next five years, the report found. AI’s impact will be greater in Asia’s wealthier economies than in poorer ones (14% vs. 10% overall):

Here are some other interesting findings of the report:

  • Headcount reduction is not a major driver for AI in Asia.

    Corporate priorities for AI are to enhance customer satisfaction, decision-making, and reduce inefficiencies. It is likely this will lead to the loss of some roles to automation, and the restructuring of others. Yet reducing headcount is not in and of itself a top priority. Just one-third of survey respondents listed reducing labor costs as a top driver for AI.

  • The majority of companies are expecting headcount to increase.

    Some 77% of survey respondents expect total headcount to increase over the next five years, including in functions where AI is already being deployed. One fifth of respondents overall indicated that they expect five-year increases of more than 15%. Very few (just 3%) are predicting any headcount contraction.

  • Yet AI will affect one in five jobs in Asia—eliminating one in eight.

    Across 11 Asian markets, 12% of current jobs are at high risk of being automated in the next five years. The effect of AI on job automation will be greater in Asia’s wealthier economies than in poorer ones (14% as opposed to 10%). However, AI will actually benefit and augment many more jobs in developed markets (11% of the total) than in less-developed markets (just 6%).

  • AI will produce winners and losers.

    In high-income countries, AI will result in significant job augmentation and added capacity, mostly in knowledge-intensive industries. In developing Asia, technology augments only fewer jobs, and adds little capacity. The structure of each country’s economy, its technology-readiness, and other economic and social drivers determine its impact.

“Our research shows that many industries across the region will see rapid automation and the loss of jobs,” says Claire Beatty, editor of the report. “In developed economies we’re likely to see re-skilling and redeployment. In developing markets, the need of the hour is more systematic planning and preparation.”

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