Automation capable of replacing office workers is on its way, but it won't be here for 10 years or more - although by that point, you might not have a job to be replaced in.
So said Mirko Draca of The London School of Economics, speaking Huawei's 2018 Asia-Pacific Innovation Day 2018 in Bangkok this week.
The Register reports that Draca said that the world is currently in "an era of investment and experimentation" with technology, but that the effects of these periods in the past haven't been felt for 10-15 years in the future.
While technologists are currently experimenting with automation, it could be more than a decade before any meaningful change comes to fruition.
The downside is that interest in automation tends to accelerate in times of recession; so, once the next economic downturn occurs, office workers may lose their jobs and then have nothing to fall back on, because the machines will have replaced them.
Draca added that productivity gains made through technology have noticeably slowed since the PC boom of the "radical" 1990s, although he isn't overly concerned. He said that the ways in which analysts measure economic growth doesn't accurately reflect the impact of new technologies, like the added convenience of smartphone services.
Productivity and innovation are both due to improve, though, because according to Draca they are cyclical. "We predict that AI and robotics will lead to some sort of productivity surge in ten to fifteen years," he said.
There is "no clear evidence" that these new technologies are currently threatening jobs - but, once businesses become more aware of the need to control costs, they will do.
Huawei used the Innovation Day to announce the signing of a new MoU with the government of Thailand, through which it will assist the government and local enterprises to innovate.
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