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Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the nature of work. In this discussion paper, part of our ongoing research on the impact of technology on the economy, business, and society, we present new findings on the coming shifts in demand for workforce skills and how work is organized within companies, as people increasingly interact with machines in the workplace. We quantify time spent on 25 core workplace skills today and in the future for the United States and five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK), with a particular focus on five sectors: banking and insurance, energy and mining, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. The main themes of the discussion are: How will demand for workforce skills change with automation?; Shifting skill requirements in five sectors; How will organizations adapt?; Building the workforce of the future.