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Robots Won’t Take Our Jobs (Entirely): Experts Say Automation Will Create New Opportunities

CAREERSRobots Won't Take Our Jobs (Entirely): Experts Say Automation Will Create New Opportunities

There is a lot of discussion about automation and robotics in the context of the job market and replacing people in certain positions, but the fears that they will lead to a job market crash and unemployment seem exaggerated. According to experts, robots will partially respond to the problem of labor market shortages related to, among other things, aging societies, and will also generate demand for many new positions. The positive effects of automation are possible because there is still plenty of time to prepare for changes. These should include issues such as raising digital skills and social security.

The consequences of investing in robotics, automation, the use of artificial intelligence in various technological processes, in combination with robots or process automation, will also be a breakthrough in the labor market. Research conducted among companies shows that changes in employment will not occur in the first few years of these investments, but only after some time – says Professor Jacek Męcina, advisor to the board of Confederation Lewiatan, in an interview for Newseria Innowacje.

According to a study published in January by, 22% of Poles are afraid of the increasing importance of artificial intelligence and automation in their job position. More than every third person is afraid that AI could reduce the number of available jobs in the future.

As societies are aging, labor resources are decreasing year by year. Investments in modern technologies, automation, and robotics can partially offset the decline of labor resources. Still, some labor resources will probably have to be shifted towards business or social services, only human beings should render some services, such as care services and healthcare. Here, many new job offers will appear – Prof. Jacek Męcina points out.

As labor resources are shrinking, we need to find ways to replace the missing employees. I think that modern technologies exactly provide such opportunities – emphasizes Anna Organiściak-Krzykowska, an economist, professor at the University of Warmia and Mazury.

Among the necessary preparations, raises or changes in qualifications will be required. This will need to be supported by companies, and even the state. In the survey, 42% of respondents said they would like to participate in AI training if their employers organized it. The current job market also needs to prepare for the replacement of work, especially the repetitive kind, by robots. This process will also result in internal and external displacements of employees.

First of all, we need to think about an education reform, that should lay much more emphasis on STEM fields, especially mathematics. Mathematics is a foundation, not sufficient, but one of the necessary conditions that will allow new generations to feel better in handling and using modern technologies – assesses Prof. Anna Organiściak-Krzykowska.

In Prof. Jacek Męcina’s opinion, an education reform is needed, not only to adjust the curriculum to the expectations of future employers but also related to the volatility in the robotized market. Young people should thus be used to the fact that it will be difficult in the future to choose a clear professional development path and they might be required to requalify along the way.

Despite much talk about robotization, it appears that Poland is lagging behind the pace of this process observed in other countries of similar status – according to the publication “From robotization and automation to artificial intelligence – impact on the economy and the labor market”, which was based on a study conducted by Prof. Jacek Męcina involving nearly 100 economic entities. From 2015 to 2021, the global average density of robots in the manufacturing industry increased more than twice – to 141 robots per 10 thousand employees. A year later in Poland, this density was half lower – only 71 robots per 10 thousand employees. Interestingly, the number of installed new robots did not increase, but decreased by 13% compared to the previous year. The lack of appropriate specialists was the most significant factor influencing the lack of interest of companies in digitization, automation, and robotization. 60% of the respondents answered this way. Companies also lacked sufficient financial resources to carry out such investments, and there was uncertainty as to whether the incurred expenses would balance with the increase in revenues.

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