Few jobs can be completely replaced by new technologies

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics can perform an increasingly wider variety of jobs, and automation is no longer confined to routine tasks

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Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics can perform an increasingly wider variety of jobs, and automation is no longer confined to routine tasks. Nevertheless, the automation potential for non-routine tasks seems to remain limited, especially for tasks involving autonomous mobility, creativity, problem solving, and complex communication.

The new report The Substitution of Labor: From technological feasibility to other factors influencing job automation is the fifth report from the three-year research project, The Internet and its Direct and Indirect Effects on Innovation and the Swedish Economy under the leadership of Professor Robin Teigland.

The report examines the possibility of a number of technologies to replace labor.

Some of the key findings from the report include the following:

  • A majority of jobs will be affected by the automation of individual activities, but only a few have the potential to be completely substituted.  
  • The nature of jobs will change as routine tasks will be replaced and people will work more closely together with machines.  
  • Industries that have a large potential for job substitution are food and accommodation services, transportation and warehousing, retail trade, wholesale trade, and manufacturing.  

The project, The Internet and its Direct and Indirect Effects on Innovation and the Swedish Economy, is funded by The Internet Foundation in Sweden (Internetstiftelsen i Sverige, IIS). The project previously published the report, Chasing the Tale of the Unicorn – A study of Stockholm’s misty meadows, which investigated the roots of the current “unicorn” success in Sweden and its capital city of Stockholm. In 2018, the project will also publish the book, The Rise and Development of FinTech: Accounts of disruption from Sweden and beyond, through Routledge Publishing. The project is currently working on a new book project with the tentative title: The Digital Disruption of Public Services: An investigative study of the societal impact in Sweden and beyond, with an expected publication date in early 2019.

Press contact at SSE for this report: 

Shahryar Siri, Researcher and Project Manager
Email: shahryar.siri@hhs.se

Press contact at The Internet Foundation, IIS for this report: 

Elisabeth Standár, Head of PR
Tel: +46704075829
E-mail: elisabeth.standar@iis.se