These are external links and will open in a new window Artificial Intelligence (AI) will create as many jobs in the UK as it will displace over the next 20 years, a report has claimed. The analysis by accountancy giant PwC found AI would boost economic growth, creating new roles as others fell away.

But it warned there would be “winners and losers” by industry sector, with many jobs likely to change. Opinion is split over AI’s potential impact, with some warning it could leave many out of work in future.

The pessimists argue AI is different to previous forms of technological change, because robots and algorithms will be able to do intellectual as well as routine physical tasks. However, John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “Major new technologies, from steam engines to computers, displace some existing jobs but also generate large productivity gains.

“This reduces prices and increases real income and spending levels, which in turn creates demand for additional workers. “Our analysis suggests the same will be true of AI, robots and related technologies, but the distribution of jobs across sectors will shift considerably in the process.”

The accountancy giant claims around seven million existing jobs could be displaced by AI from 2017-2037, but around 7.2 million could be created, giving the UK a small net jobs boost of around 200,000. Some sectors would benefit disproportionately, however, with jobs in health increasing by 22%, scientific and technical services by 16% and education by 6%. Read more from…

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