Skip to Content
Tech policy

Machines will do more work than humans by 2025, says the WEF

September 17, 2018

In less than a decade, most workplace tasks will be done by machines rather than humans, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest AI job forecast.

Job swap: The Future of Jobs 2018 report claims that roughly 71 percent of tasks are done by humans today, but it calls for a rapid shift in responsibilities over the next seven years. The report’s figures are extrapolated from surveys of human resource managers and corporate strategy experts. 

Net gain: The report also predicts that advances in machine learning and digital automation will eliminate 75 million jobs by 2025. But it suggests that the same technology could also generate some 133 million new roles by then. Jobs that involve design or programming tasks, critical thinking, and social intelligence will be more resistant to automation, the report claims.

Crystal balls: The report is thought-provoking and well put together. But it’s notoriously difficult to predicting this kind of economic change reliably. Indeed, as we’ve noted before, estimates regarding the number of jobs that AI will destroy (or create) tend to vary wildly.

Deep Dive

Tech policy

The US Navy wants swarms of thousands of small drones

Budget documents reveal plans for the Super Swarm project, a way to overwhelm defenses with vast numbers of drones attacking simultaneously.

Here’s how the Nord Stream gas pipelines could be fixed

The first step will be figuring out the extent of the damage. Then the difficulties really begin.

A wrongfully terminated Chinese-American scientist was just awarded nearly $2 million in damages

"The settlement makes clear that when the government discriminates, it’s going to be held accountable," said Sherry Chen's lawyer.

Inside effective altruism, where the far future counts a lot more than the present

The giving philosophy, which has adopted a focus on the long term, is a conservative project, consolidating decision-making among a small set of technocrats.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.