But there are a couple of interesting nuggets hiding in the study. First, the research predicts that rich nations like America will find 25 percent of work automated by then, while poorer ones, like India, will see as little as 9 percent taken up by machines. That’s because the latter countries lack the cash to invest in automation, and at any rate still have lots of cheap labor to make use of. As Wired points out, that means that their middle classes will continue to prosper for longer than those in developed nations.
The report also suggests that plenty of jobs will actually be created for those displaced from their work as money from improved productivity is reinvested into new kinds of industry. The upshot of that though, as Axios notes, is that as many as 375 million people will be pushed out of jobs—that’s 14 percent of the global workforce—and have to take up work in totally different occupations.
But as Andrew Ng, former head of AI at Chinese search giant Baidu, recently explained at our annual EmTech MIT conference, a more concerted governmental push—a kind of modern-day New Deal—will be required to help displaced workers learn new job skills. The numbers outlined by the new report only serve to underscore his point.