In the country that pioneered the world’s first industrial revolution in the 18th century, its latest one is looking very much on hold.
The global shift toward robotics and artificial intelligence across advanced economies is currently in a go-slow phase in the U.K. – where both Covid-19 and Brexit have hampered progress. According to a report by British lawmakers, Britain has long been a somewhat slow movement in the so-called «fourth industrial revolution» harnessing the potential of robots and artificial intelligence.
The advent of automation and robotics has long been a specter hanging over labor markets that could displace as much as 50% of the global workforce, Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said in 2018. Bloomberg carried out an analysis on the technological advancement in Great Britain and the current situation in a context of pandemic.
The pandemic will probably accelerate the shift to automation technology. That threatens to harm Britain’s competitiveness against rival economies which are already retooling more aggressively to be more productive. It could also mean greater long-term pain in the U.K. labor market, delaying the inevitable adjustment for workers who need to retrain as jobs in industries from manufacturing to retail become obsolete.