Gender and Behaviour

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Analysis of the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on human labour

Mbali Mfanafuthi, Jabulani Nyawo, Pfano Mashau


The future of human labour has been rendered uncertain recently, due to the emergence of artificial intelligence and robotics. The definition of artificial intelligence is still unclear. However, in this study, the concept is used interchangeably with others such as computerisation, automation and technological advancement. Research has demonstrated that artificial intelligence and robotics will substitute human labour, mostly in the service, production, office and administration sectors. The aim of this study is to report on some of the work achieved on the topic of automation, in order to answer the question of whether artificial intelligence and robotics will replace human labour. This a desktop study that explores different models to analyse the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on human labour. The task oriented model, diversity and specialisation method and Houthakker’s model were utilised in the study. The results have revealed that computerisation will lead to the substitution of human labour, especially for occupations involving routine tasks. However, there is still more work to be achieved on the topic, in order to establish significant and valuable conclusions. It is apparent that artificial intelligence and robotics are substituting the previous generation’s positions for fourth industrial evolution jobs.

Keywords: Intellectual intelligence, labour, computerisation, Fourth Evolution, human labour, technological improvement, automation, robotics

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