Crystal ball readers at analyst outfit Gartner have seen a future where robots and drones replace a third of all workers by 2025.
At the start of its major US conference, the Symposium/ITxpo Gartner’s research director Peter Sondergaard predicted a future where a drone may be your eyes and ears.
In five years, drones will be a standard part of operations in many industries, used in agriculture, geographical surveys and oil and gas pipeline inspections, he said.
He also predicted a rise in the a “super class” of technologies that perform a wide variety of work, both the physical and the intellectual kind, said Sondergaard.
Machines, for instance, have been grading multiple choice for years, but now they are grading essays and unstructured text.
This cognitive capability in software will extend to other areas, including financial analysis, medical diagnostics and data analytic jobs of all sorts, Sondergaard said.
Gartner predicts one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025. The new digital businesses require less labour and machines will be make sense of data faster than humans.
Machines could take the jobs of nearly 700 Morrisons back office staff.
The supermarket, which employs around 131,000 staff and has 490 UK stores, has reportedly embarked in four week consultation talks with with 689 cash office managers after looking at the machines to cut costs.
It follows the company posting a loss of £879 million in 2012, which was a drop of seven percent.
Last month it also announced that it had seen a pretax profit drop to £901 million in February this year compared to the £935 million made in 2011.
Over the past few months the company has been making changes in a bid to compete with its supermarket rivals.
In March it announced it would be moving into the online grocery delivering space. It is also planning to build up its army of 12 convenience stores, and snapping up 62 sites from the administrators of Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster.
The supermarket claimed that using the new robots would speed up the cash counting process. It said it would continue to support those potentially affected throughout this consultation process.”