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​Automation in the Kiwi workplace - friend or foe?

​Automation in the Kiwi workplace - friend or foe?

Over half New Zealanders believe their job will be impacted by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation within the next 10 years

Over half New Zealanders believe their job will be impacted by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation within the next 10 years, as new technologies threaten the future of the workplace across the country.

According to research from recruitment specialists Hays New Zealand, 56 percent of Kiwis remain convinced their role will be shaped by emerging technologies, with 24 percent on the fence and 20 percent confident the status quo will remain.

But is AI and automation a friend or foe for New Zealand workers?

“The answer depends on your willingness to adapt your skills,” Hays New Zealand managing director, Jason Walker, said.

“Rather than destroy jobs, automation and artificial intelligence can be expected to instead change roles, allowing workers to focus on other key areas of their work.

“Automation and AI will replace or take over the more repetitive and manual aspects of a job, leaving people free to focus on more advanced job responsibilities.”

For Walker, this makes continuous up-skilling key to remaining relevant in the job market of the future, but it’s not only technical or hard skills Kiwis will need to focus on.

“When we look at the skills automation is taking over, they are usually hard or technical skills,” he added. “Soft skills are a lot more difficult to automate or outsource.

“There are also many human skills that robots simply cannot learn. For instance, a robot will never be an innovative and collaborative problem solver that can come up with and share creative ideas.

“Empathy and human instinct are crucial to a lot of roles too, and again these are not programmable; you cannot automate human emotion.”

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