21 million in the Middle East could be jobless soon!

February 13, 2018 6:23 pm


You work for long years to build a good CV.

And then comes the time when you get the chance to apply to the job you have long desired.

But hold your horses! Who said you will get it?

The vacancy was already filled… with a robot!

McKinsey & Company’s latest report reveals that an estimated 45% of existing jobs in the Middle East could be automated.

Read: Massive 55% tax coming to the UAE

That includes your job.

Is there anything to do to save your future?

Automatically out!

McKinsey said that in all 6 Middle Eastern countries examined, $366.6 bn in wage income and 20.8 million full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) are associated with activities that are already technically automatable today.

Also, nearly 50% of people will be susceptible to the process of automation that is coming with the new technologies resonant with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said delegates at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) last year.

Robo jobs

A report by Monzer Tohme, regional vice president, Middle East & Africa at Epicor Software, says that more than 1.7 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories worldwide by 2020, representing an annual growth rate of 14 percent.

“As more and more ‘smart’ devices are integrated into organisations in 2018, Industry 4.0 will continue to dominate the manufacturing industry, offering valuable benefits including predictive maintenance of machinery and increased levels of automation to help manufacturers optimise their operations,” it said.

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It said that sensors, for instance, are being used to identify stock levels and, based on historical information, automate the replenishment of these items.

“This innovation decreases production down time and ensures an optimised delivery schedule,” it said.

 Hotel staff gone

Graeme Kane, Hospitality Business Development Manager at Aruba, says that customer facing AI robotic concierges and luggage handlers (already operational in some Aloft hotels) are getting a lot of attention.

He cites the example of Japan saying that cyborgs programmed to make eye contact and respond with multilingual ability check you into hotels.

“Incorporating technologies like this is also a cost saving proposition for hotels,” he said.

Artificial chauffeurs

While the idea of autonomous cars is attractive in many ways, it may be stealing one very important thing: Driving jobs.

According to the Auto Insurance Center, a platform for automotive news, self-driving cars will eliminate many jobs in the transportation sector, especially when it comes to freight transportation and taxi drivers.

CNBC reveals that when autonomous vehicle saturation peaks, U.S. drivers could see job losses at a rate of 25,000 a month, or 300,000 a year, according to a report from Goldman Sachs Economics Research.

Truck drivers, more so than bus or taxi drivers, will see the bulk of that job loss, according to the report.

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Can AI help you?

Business Insider reveals that as more companies come to embrace chat functions to complement or reduce human phone centers, rudimentary human-to-human chat conversations will soon be a thing of the past, according to experts in the field.

“In the next three to five years alone, chatbots will become nearly ubiquitous, and work seamlessly with human customer support agents to provide customers with efficient, personalized responses,” it said.

Educational robots

Educational robots are becoming a trend worldwide.

The Financial Times cites Singapore as an example saying that authorities are experimenting with the use of robotic aides to teachers in kindergartens.

IT said that two humanoid robots, Pepper and Nao, assisted teachers in a seven-month trial at two Singapore preschools last year, while technology-enabled toys such as Kibo were deployed at 160 nurseries, including Sparkletots.

Meanwhile, many kindergartens across China have adopted an artificial intelligence robot to help interact with their pupils, according to South China Morning Post.

The robot, called KeeKo, interacts with the young children by playing games with them, singing, dancing, reading stories, carrying out conversations and even doing mathematics.

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Dana Halawi
By Dana Halawi
Senior Journalist
Dana Halawi has over seven years of experience in Journalism with articles published in multiple magazines and a newspaper in Lebanon. She specialized in Banking and Finance at the Lebanese American University and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs.



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