By 2021, intelligent systems and robots may take up to 6 percent of U.S. jobs, according to Forrester Research.
A Japanese insurance company reportedly is replacing 34 workers with an artificial intelligence system, and industry analysts say the same could start happening in the U.S. this year.
Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Company, a 94-year-old company based in Tokyo, is getting ready to replace human workers with an IBM Watson artificial intelligence-based system, ABC News in Australia reported.
ABC News said that 34 employees will lose their jobs by the end of March, when the Watson system takes over handling insurance payouts but the final payments will still be handled by human workers.
The report also stated that the company expects to increase productivity by 30 percent, while saving $1.65 million on employee salaries. Fukoku Life will spend $2.36 million to install the system and about $177,000 in annual maintenance costs, meaning the new system should pay for itself in less than two years, ABC News said.
The report is likely to continue to validate fears that robots and A.I. are putting people out of work.
With A.I. systems making steady advancements that enable them to increasingly learn on their own, make decisions and understand human behavior, companies are widely expected to use the technology to sidestep human workers and get work done without needing to pay salaries and provide health care or vacation time.
Smart systems, chat bots and humanoid robots could take over jobs that range from hotel employees and customer service reps to truck and taxi drivers.
A year ago, the World Economic Forum, a Geneva, Switzerland-based organization focused on analyzing and improving the state of the world, reported that the next tech revolution, which includes A.I. and robotics, could mean the loss of 7 million jobs over the next few years.
The forum also stated that at the same time, 2 million jobs would be created in the fields of computer science, engineering and math. It’s also expected that technology will create new jobs that will replace the ones that smart systems are taking.
Human workers may also increasingly work alongside smart systems. For example, a worker might have a smart assistant that finds information needed for a project before the worker realizes he or she needs it.
However, the concerns today are over jobs that are lost because of A.I.