New paradigm of human-robot collaboration has the potential to free people to focus their time and energy on higher-value work
South Korea, Germany and Singapore are the world’s leading nations when it comes to preparing their economies for the smooth integration of intelligent automation, a study finds.
These countries’ “automation readiness” were ranked in an index and report released by ABB and forecasting and advisory services firm, the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The report, The Automation Readiness Index (ARI) who is ready for the coming wave of innovation? surveyed and ranked 25 countries on their automation preparedness.
It found that many nations across the globe are just beginning to come to grips with the opportunities and challenges posed by AI and robotics-based automation.
Consequently, the report concludes that even the best-prepared countries must develop even more effective education policies and training programmes, as well as place a new emphasis on continual learning over the course of a career.
Those policies and programmes, the report recommends, must ensure that the rapid adoption of automation technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) will not leave people unprepared for the new, more human-oriented jobs that will be needed as robots and algorithms take on more of the routine tasks that can be and will be automated.
“The report showcases the success pattern of the future. We must take advantage of these recommendations,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB.
“The pace of innovation and job change today is so fast that everyone must have access to lifelong learning. Augmenting human potential with technology, in a responsible way, while providing ongoing education and training, is an opportunity to drive prosperity and growth.”
The report also underlines that, whether policymakers are ready or not, businesses are rapidly integrating AI and advanced robotics into their operations. As that adoption accelerates in coming years, the impact on economies and workforces – and the need for a more concerted approach to education and training – will become clearer, and more urgent.
Ideally, a successful transition to a manufacturing economy built around intelligent automation will provide human talent with the opportunity to achieve higher levels of productivity, and, ultimately, more rewarding jobs.
To achieve that better future, however, most countries will have to elevate their vocational training programmes. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula remain important, the report notes. But automation and AI place even greater need for basic education programmes and new types of teacher training.
In addition to South Korea, Germany and Singapore, other countries best positioned to embrace this wave of change are in ranked order: Japan, Canada, Estonia, France, the UK, the US and Australia.
The analysis in the report is based on an index, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, as well as a series of in-depth interviews with subject matter experts from around the world.
Rankings were determined based on a total of 52 qualitative and quantitative indicators selected in consultation with experts in automation, education and economics.
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