South Korea tops table of countries best prepared for automation

South Korea, Germany and Singapore are the top three most prepared countries for integrating intelligent automation into their economies, with the UK in eighth position.


Monday 23

South Korea tops table of countries best prepared for automation

That is according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit and technology firm ABB, which ranks 25 countries based on 52 indicators including infrastructure and innovation.


It warns that artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics are increasingly being integrated into business operations, and that more effective education policies and training programmes are needed in response.


This should prepare the future workforce for the greater number of human-orientated jobs that will be needed as robots and algorithms take on more routine tasks, the report states.


“The pace of innovation and job change today is so fast,” ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer, said.


“Augmenting human potential with technology, in a responsible way, while providing ongoing education and training, is an opportunity to drive prosperity and growth.”


The top 10 countries for automation readiness are shown below:

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit and ABB


Of the 25 nations studied, Indonesia was ranked the least prepared for intelligent automation, followed by Vietnam, Mexico, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.


The UK scores relatively highly for innovation but falls down in the further education indicator for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.


This is an area where most countries were found to be lagging, with the report arguing that automation and AI will create an even greater need for understanding these subjects.


It states that a successful paradigm shift in human-robot collaboration has the potential to free people to focus their time on higher-value work, leaving robots to do the highly repetitive, physically demanding and dangerous tasks.


Such human work is likely to include designing the processes and operations for the robots to carry out, and also monitoring and overseeing the automated work performed by the machines.


“The report showcases the success pattern of the future,” Spiesshofer continued. “We must take advantage of these recommendations.”


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