Up to 25% of global labour force to be displaced by robots over next 20 years, says tech expert

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): The era of plentiful labor is nearing an end, posing a major challenge for economies worldwide as companies struggle to fill open positions.

Speaking at the Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI) Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) in California yesterday, Michael Schallehn of Bain & Company said robotics and automation could fill the employment gap to sustain economic growth as the cost of robotics falls and adoption of Artificial Intelligence for customer service applications continues to rise.

Excerpts of his keynote address at ISS on SEMI’s website Jan 14 said Schallehn commented that workforce shortages offer a compelling business case for replacing human workers with robots, which can cut labour costs by 10% to 15% while boosting productivity as much as 30%.

Over the next 10 to 20 years, Schallehn expects 20% to 25% of the global labour force to be displaced by robots, another significant challenge.