In March 2015, an Oxford associate professor predicted that robots will replace 47 percent of human jobs by 2035.
This past January, a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimated that 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020 — just three short years from now.
Well, earlier today, Citi and the Oxford Martin School, of the University of Oxford, released a report entitled, Technology at work v2.0: The future is not what it used to be, which takes things a bit further by actually showing the countries that are most in danger of losing jobs to robots as soon as this year.
At the top of the list? Ethiopia, which the report estimates will have replaced 85 percent of human jobs with robots over the course of this year. Rounding out the top five countries that are most likely to lose jobs to automation are China (77 percent), Thailand (72 percent), India (69 percent) and South Africa (67 percent).
Those here in the United States breathing a sigh of relief ... well, not so fast. The U.S. ranks eighth on the list (47 percent) as a country where jobs are most likely to be replaced by robots.
That being said, there is hope. Just last month, Mercedes-Benz announced that it's getting rid of robots working in its production line to re-hire humans.
"Robots can't deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today," Markus Schaefer, head of production with the automaker, told Bloomberg at the time. "We're saving money and safeguarding our future by employing more people."
Mercedes found that while the robots were good at performing the same repeated tasks, they weren't sufficient at adapting, especially when problems arose.
"The variety is too much to take on for the machines," Schaefer said. "They can't work with all the different options and keep pace with changes."
That being said, researchers of the Technology at work v2.0 report said that machine learning has progressed to the point where it's better than the basic knowledge of work that humans possess.
When you really think about it, this is pretty scary.