By 2025, software, robots, or other "smart machines" will have replaced as many as one in three existing jobs, Gartner predicts. Gartner research director Peter Sondergaard says smart machines represent an emerging "super class" of technologies that can perform a wide variety of work, from physical tasks to intellectual work, and will include drones and robots performing work such as pipeline maintenance and crop dusting to computers and software grading essays and multiple choice tests.
"Knowledge work will be automated," Sondergaard says. "New digital businesses require less labor; machines will be make sense of data faster than humans can." He predicts financial analysis, medical diagnostics, and a wide variety of data analysis jobs will be automated away in the near future.
Nuverra Environmental Solutions CIO Lawrence Strohmaier says these jobs will not be destroyed so much as they will be replaced by different jobs. "The shift is from doing to implementing, so the doers go away but someone still has to implement," Strohmaier says. Both he and Gartner analyst David Aron say the rise of smart machines will be accompanied by an increase in the number of IT workers to operate and maintain them.
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