Half of all work tasks will be carried out by machines by 2025, a World Economic Forum (WEF) report has predicted.
Though the oncoming "robot revolution" will create 97 million jobs worldwide, it will get rid of almost the same number, and will likely increase inequality and the digital divide, the think tank said.
Robots replacing and creating jobs
The forecast is based on surveys carried out across 300 of the world's biggest companies, who between them employ approximately eight million people globally, the BBC reports.
Over 50 percent of employers surveyed said they expect the automation of certain roles in their companies to speed up in the coming years, and 43 percent feel they will cut jobs due to technology.
Administration and data processing jobs are the most likely to be cut by automation, WEF explained in its forecast, while new jobs are likely to emerge in care, big data, and the green economy.
Affecting lowest-paid workers
WEF explained that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies as firms look to cut costs and adopt new future-proof technologies.
Accelerated adoption of technologies amidst the pandemic has "deepened existing inequalities across labor markets and reversed gains in employment made since the global financial crisis in 2007-2008," said Saadia Zahidi, managing director at WEF.
"It's a double disruption scenario that presents another hurdle for workers in this difficult time. The window of opportunity for proactive management of this change is closing fast."
The WEF emphasized that despite future cuts in jobs due to technology, there would be a "surge" in demand for workers to fill green economy roles, as well as new jobs in areas such as engineering and cloud computing.
Currently, about a third of all work tasks are carried out by machines, though the WEF expects this to reach 50 percent by 2025. The think tank says millions of the lowest paid, lowest skilled workers will likely have to be re-skilled to cope with the change.