Payments Awards

AI, robots and jobs

Written by Mark Evans
04/01/2018

In a somewhat logical, but depressing way, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has speculated that any rise in the living wage will mean replacement of workers with robots.

Although it has been governmental policy in the UK to gradually increase the living wage, the effects of such rises on automation have not been factored in, and companies could decide it is easier to invest in the rapidly advancing technology of robotics and AI then in employees.

The IFS research points to those being brought within the minimum wage net are more likely to be doing jobs that appear “more readily doable” by machines or computers, such as retail cashiers and receptionists.

The political and financial issues would then be of employment and lower taxation revenues. However other views exist that new human-dependent industries would rise and that the change would follow the pattern set by the Industrial Revolution. The IFS itself notes that “reality is more uncertain” with the use of technology actually creating new jobs that are complementary to that technology.