3 in 10 Malaysians believe that robots might take over their jobs in future, and the young are among the most fearful

About 45 per cent of respondents aged 18-24 fear that their jobs will be taken over by robots, the survey found.
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With society’s increasing reliance on artificial intelligence, it’s no wonder that many people fear that their jobs may be taken over by robots in the near future.

After surveying 1,009 Malaysians, YouGov revealed on Thursday (April 18) that three in 10 Malaysians believe that their jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots.

Young and low-income earners fear their jobs being replaced most

Amongst all the age groups, respondents aged 18-24 were the most concerned – with 45 per cent of them fearing that their jobs will be taken over by robots, the survey found.

In contrast, only 18 per cent of respondents aged 45 and above believe that they would be replaced.

According to YouGov, respondents who earn less than RM4,000 (US$963)are more wary than those who earn more than RM8,000 a month – with 33 per cent and 24 per cent of each income group fearing replacement by robots respectively.

Most see roles being affected within the next 10 years

Almost half, or 49 pr cent of respondents believe that their jobs will be affected by robots, the report said.

Out of this group, around 30 per cent said that it would happen in the next five years, another 30 per cent said they see it happening in five to 10 years, while approximately 35 per cent think that it could take 10 years, or more.

The remaining four per cent said that they already see their jobs being affected by robots today.

Upskilling to avoid replacement

According to the report, 96 per cent of respondents use technology in their job role – with 20 per cent of this number reporting that their job “very much” involves the use of technology.

But Malaysians are not just sitting back and letting technology run the show. Around 55 per cent of Malaysians are equipping themselves with additional skills to avoid being replaced, the report said.

This number jumps to a whopping 75 per cent among employees who believe that robots are “very likely” to replace their roles, the report said.

Job creation or loss

About 69 per cent of respondents believe that the emergence of robots and automation will eventually lead to loss of jobs in the economy, the survey found.

YouGov also added that a smaller, but still significant 31 per cent of respondents think that this “wider adaptation of technology” could bring forth creation of jobs in the workplace.

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