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Do you realize what ‘killer robots’ are doing to us?

|By Arabian Post staff| The rise of intelligent machines represents the evolution of the next industrial revolution, which will bring about a paradigm shift in the way we live and work, a special report on the subject by BankofAmerica-Merrill Lynch says.

Robots and AI are becoming an integral part of our daily lives as providers of labour, mobility, safety, convenience, and entertainment. The year 2014 was the third consecutive year for record sales of robots worldwide (229,000, +29% YoY). The IoT, big data, cloud computing and 3D printing have meant exponential advancements in the space, while global structural drivers, such as demographics, energy efficiency, productivity, urbanisation, and wage inflation, suggest long-term sustained growth, the report says. Robots are likely to be performing 45% of manufacturing tasks by 2025E (vs. 10% today).

BoAML estimates the robots and AI solutions market will grow to US$153 billion by 2020E, comprising US$83 billion for robot and robotics, and US$70 billion for AI-based analytics. “We anticipate US$14-33tn in annual creative disruption impact in 10Y, including US$8-9 trillionof cost reductions across manufacturing and healthcare, US$9 trillion cuts in employment costs via AI-enabled automation of knowledge work and US$1.9 trillion in efficiency gains via autonomous cars and drones. Adoption of robots and AI could boost productivity by 30% in many industries, while cutting manufacturing labour costs by 18-33%.

The report points out that there is a paradigm shift happening, which will change the way we live and work. The report anticipates that the greatest potential challenges arising from the shift would be the possible displacement of human labour (with 47% of US jobs having the potential to be automated) and growth in inequality (with a 10% supply and demand gap between skilled and non-skilled workers by 2020E).

It also anticipate issues around cybersecurity (50 billion connected devices by 2020E), privacy, and longer-term existential threats being posed by AI (“killer robots”).