New research compiled has projected that AI will replace between 40-50 million full-time jobs in the country over the next fifteen years. The report stated that it was imperative the China's labor market be prepared to adapt to the challenges brought on by the rapid development of AI and automation.
The joint report compiled by the China Development Research Foundation and Sequoia Capital China quoted the estimate from McKinsey Global Institute, which stated that emerging technologies such as AI and Automation can help achieve automation in many fields.
It has been estimated that by 2030, automation will have replaced one-fifth of the country's manufacturing jobs, and added that if the process of automation is accelerated by large corporations and enterprises to further reduce costs then almost 100 million workers will be forced to retrain and change careers in an effort to find employment.
Neil Shen, Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China said that the integration of AI into the workforce will free humans from mundane work and repetitive tasks.
He said, "AI will free humans from repetitive jobs and cultivate creative minds. This means work will shift from being labor-centric to innovation-driven. More talents will devote their time to scientific discovery and technological innovation, and dedicate their efforts to the enrichment of the world."
This is undoubtedly a blessing for jobs featuring creativity, but a curse for employees with repetitive work.
The report also highlighted that by 2027 there will be 9.93 million employees in the Chinese financial industry, but 22 percent of the jobs in banks, 25 percent in the insurance market, and 16 percent in the capital market will be cut because of repetitive work. For the remaining employees, their working time will be reduced by 27 percent owe to AI.
Lu Mai, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the CDRF, said the country must be prepared to adapt to the changes and meet the challenges.
"If we decide to follow the path toward a future with AI, we must emphasize human capital investment," Lu said.
"Currently, China's early childhood parenting and preschool education lags behind global standards, and China's vocational education also needs further improvement. All of these shortcomings will hinder China's labor market from transitioning to an AI-led future."