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Robots will steal around half of all jobs around the world in the not too distant future as the globe has entered a second age of machinery that will have a more profound effect on society than the onset of the industrial resolution, claim academics.
Speaking at the Financial Times Camp Alphaville event, professors from Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), Oxford University and Sussex University, said mass investment into IT and computing has meant that machines have evolved into taking over a range of roles.
"Before the industrial revolution, it was pretty boring from an economist's point of view, but since the evolution of machines during this time, societies have become more efficient and wealthier," said Erik Brynjolfsson, director at MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.
"We are now in the second machine age where robots take on mental, as well as physical work, which does encroach on a vast number of jobs," he added, speaking via a robot at the event.
"Robots now substitute jobs, not just complement them from previous times."
Meanwhile, the associate professor in machine learning at Oxford University, said it is "entirely credible" to see half of global jobs go to machines.
Robots and IT "streamline a lot of industries and can therefore threaten jobs," said Michael Osborne.
In agreement with both Osborne and Brynjolfsson, Mariana Mazzucato said that government and private investment is driving this generational change.
"Whether we talk about the changes in innovation or the relationship between robots affecting society, it all ones down to investment," said the RM Philliips professor in the economics of innovation, science policy research unit at Sussex University.
"China, for instance, is investing $1.7tn in new generation technology."
Studies and experts around the world have expressed both positivity and concern over how the heightened use of technology may put more humans out of jobs.
For example, Australians are tipped to lose around 5 millions jobs to automated technology, due to cost saving and enhanced efficiency.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Robotics have revealed that global sales of industrial robots continue to sell in the hundreds of thousands, after companies aim to become more streamlined.