Gundam, Asimo, Velociraptor receptionists; Japan has been at the forefront of robotics since the inception of the concept, and new research suggests that Japanese permissive attitude toward automatons could see robots taking almost half of Japanese jobs within twenty years. A report by the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) [PDF – Japanese] in Japan revealed that, of the 601 jobs it looked at in collaboration with Oxford University, 49% of the positions could be taken by robot workers by 2035.
“Due to a shrinking population, labor shortages are predicted for Japan. We’re looking at the social repercussions of attempting to preserve the labor force by introducing AI and robots into it,” the report reads.
“We did the same kind of analysis in Japan that Professor Michael Osborne from Oxford University carried out in the UK and the US,” Yumi Wakao, a researcher at NRI, told Vice Motherboard. “We found that up to 49 percent of jobs could be replaced by computer systems.”
“However, this is only a hypothetical technical calculation,” Wakao added. “It doesn’t take into account social factors.”
The report shows that Japanese workers are at greater risk of losing their job to a robot, with the US not far behind (47%), while one-third of UK workers could be usurped by mechanical systems.