AI and automation to drive massive skills shift: report

By on 29 January, 2019

A Google-commissioned report has found that a wave of investment in skills is needed to adequately prepare Australia for increasingly automated future work.

The Future Skills report produced by economic strategy firm AlphaBeta examines projected changes to the Australian economy as a result of increasing automation and artificial intelligence, analysing 300 occupations, 2,000 work tasks and over 500 skills.

The report aimed to offer insights into changes to skills requirements posed by these changes to the nature of work across sectors, and the attendant changes to education and training these will demand to remain competitive.

The researchers projected that by 2040, Australians will spend 33 percent more time on education and training across their lifetime, or an additional three hours per week, with a larger quotient of this time being dedicated in later life as workers re-skill for new positions, or up-skill to keep pace with changes to their own job descriptions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report found that that skills that complement automation and artificial intelligence rather than compete with these processes to be more valuable, highlighting adaptability, team work, creativity and integrity as critical skills across disciplines.

The AlphaBeta researchers predict that characteristics — the uniquely human part of a worker’s skillset that machines can’t replicate, will become over twice as important by 2040, with the bulk of the skills deficit to be in these areas as workers increasingly transition into taks requiring these unique skills.

The full Future Skills report is publicly accessible here.

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