Artificial Intelligence could take over 250,000 UK roles by 2030

pharmafile | February 8, 2017 | News story | Medical Communications, Research and Development NHS, artificial intelligence 

Ahead of the government’s expected digital strategy publication tomorrow, a new report has been released looking into how AI could change the face of employment in the UK. According to Think Tank Reform, as many as 250,000 public sector jobs could be performed by AI, through the use of chat bots and drones.

Particularly, the report argues that 90,000 NHS administrators and 24,000 GP receptionists could be replaced by artificial intelligence, which would result in annual savings of £1.7 billion. The report also argues that up to 30% of nurses’ activities could be replaced by automated machines, such as the collecting of information and delivery non-intravenous medication.

The report suggests that beyond this that nurses and doctors could be replaced entirely, in certain circumstances, in the diagnoses of patients and for routine surgical procedures. In total, the report estimates that £4 billion could be saved per year – a figure that would be music to the ears of an increasingly cash strapped service.

The real issue behind it, as has been brought up by many commentators, is that it would take jobs away from people and also potentially leads to a service that would lack the human touch and understanding. Hospitals are not known as places that many people would be overjoyed to visit as it is, the reduction of human contact would surely not do much to improve that sentiment.

In addition to the slightly more novel headline of artificial intelligence performing a role, there is an expected expanded function for websites to take over basic administrative roles. In terms of those displaced from employment, the report suggests that it will lead to more job roles that are flexible – for example, extending the current practise of employing locum doctors to fill the gaps.

Ben Hargreaves

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