A ‘substantial number’ of jobs in the civil service are under threat from artificial intelligence robots
- A Whitehall document predicted the end of back-office roles in the near future
- It comes as Rishi Sunak will discuss AI regulation with Joe Biden next week
Artificial intelligence will make a ‘substantial number’ of civil service jobs obsolete, the Government has privately said.
A Whitehall document predicted automation will spell the end of junior back-office roles with ‘no citizen interaction’ in the near future.
Technology seeking to improve productivity will replace call centre operators, officials who handle correspondence and those in ‘professional roles’ who make decisions on cases.
The bleak Cabinet Office assessment comes despite Science Secretary Michelle Donelan saying AI systems will lead to job creation.
It will heighten fears that the ‘rise of the robots’ will put large numbers of people out of work.
A Whitehall document predicted automation will spell the end of junior back-office roles with ‘no citizen interaction’ in the near future
The bleak Cabinet Office assessment comes despite Science Secretary Michelle Donelan (pictured) saying AI systems will lead to job creation
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BT revealed plans to replace 10,000 staff with AI and Goldman Sachs warned up to 300million worldwide jobs were at risk.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will next week discuss AI regulation with US President Joe Biden.
The report is likely to put ministers under pressure to come clean on how many civil servants will be made redundant by the tech.
It tells senior managers they should be moving tens of thousands of staff into the regions, but advises them not to bother if their roles will soon be obsolete through more ‘self-service and automation’.
It adds: ‘Since automation of many tasks in the civil service is still at a relatively low level compared to the potential, we would expect a substantial number of roles to become either obsolete or changed within the next five to ten years if departments and other bodies make use of productivity – and service-enhancing technologies.’
Labour MP Darren Jones, Commons business and trade committee chairman, said: ‘Technology can have good outcomes for public sector reform, helping public servants spend more time with their patients or pupils, improve outcomes and reduce time on inefficient admin.
‘But these changes should be made in conversation with public servants from the very start, which the Government is clearly not doing.’
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