You’re back from the summer, but for how long? In case you missed it, one tech visionary thinks many City jobs could be automated within a decade. Dave Coplin, who glories in the title of chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK, told the Telegraph that “the City could be run by algorithms”.
Ten years is a tight timeframe, but Coplin isn’t the only one who sees automation heading towards City professions like a freight train. The probability that accountants and auditors will see significant job losses to computerisation in the next 20 years is 0.94 according to a 2013 paper on the future of employment by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, which also set the probability for economists at 0.43. Business journalists can’t afford any schadenfreude over the news: firms like Narrative Science are already using robo-hacks to turn out corporate results stories for websites like Forbes.com.
Still, before you bin the CFA and start paging John Connor, there may be a glimmer of hope. David Autor of MIT made a presentation this August at the annual Jackson Hole economic policy symposium. He was overshadowed by the debut speech of Fed chair Janet Yellen, but his paper makes fascinating reading.