Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to reshape jobs across several industries, with a significant increase in roles to be automated, according to new research by ServiceNow and workforce technology experts, Pearson. Retail is expected to be the most affected industry, with nearly one-quarter of current retail jobs (24.9%) likely to be automated.

One in five (22.6%) finance and insurance workers and a similar proportion in manufacturing employees (18.2%) will see their jobs change. Transport (15.3%), and hospitality (13.6%) are also set to see a large proportion of roles evolve.

These structural shifts will see more repetitive, manual work performed by technology, delivering significant productivity gains, with an estimated $15.3 billion boost to the retail sector, $15.1 billion boost to finance, and multi-billion-dollar gains for manufacturing ($12.4 billion), transport ($8.3 billion), and hospitality ($5.1 billion).

Hundreds of thousands of new tech jobs will be required to help industries adopt AI and other technologies. In total, nearly half a million (464,700) new tech roles will be needed in the next four years, in addition to other new jobs that will emerge as technology allows people to do more creative and collaborative work. In the retail industry, this could mean new demonstration roles or customer assistants.

ServiceNow Australia and New Zealand vice president and managing director, Eric Swift said, “In the next few years, AI will transform industries, delivering multi-billion-dollar boosts to productivity. We’re all talking about AI, but the reality is its impact is only just beginning to be felt. Soon, the results will be transformative, and early movers who put AI to work today can see significant increases in productivity, more engaged employees, and fewer skills shortages.

“As these significant industry changes take place, so will the way people work. The tasks and jobs we do will change. Retail and finance have already seen multiple roles automated, with the rise of self-checkout technology, online shopping, and mobile banking. AI will accelerate this process and offer new avenues for growth. Business leaders, governments, and individuals must start planning today, updating job descriptions, team structures, and upskilling employees as new jobs emerge.

“The research shows a whole new generation of technology jobs will be needed, alongside other new roles. The priority is identifying the biggest shifts and investing in tailored training pathways to help people reskill and find meaningful work, and adopting the right technology platforms to make using AI simple.”

Pearson Workforce Skills solutions director of data science, Sandya Raj added, “It’s not all doom and gloom for workers in retail and banking. Our data reveals that technology can help remove the tedious and repetitive tasks, letting workers focus on higher-value, strategic activities. To stay ahead in this tech-driven landscape, companies and individuals need to focus on skills that are less susceptible to automation and learn to collaborate with AI rather than resist it.”