Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots


The World Economic Forum has warned of widespread disruption caused by robots, in its latest report about global competitiveness. 

In its Global Competitiveness Index 2017, WEF says the most competitive countries are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. United States
  3. Singapore
  4. Netherlands
  5. Germany

The organisation says sustained economic recovery remains at risk due to lack of increases in productivity. 

And even though robots are known to help increase productivity, WEF warns that they bring with them issues relating to employment and workers’ rights.

In its summary of its report, WEF says: “With vast numbers of jobs set to be disrupted as a result of automation and robotization, creating conditions that can withstand economic shock and support workers through transition periods will be vital.”


WEF adds that its data suggests that the reason innovation often fails to increase productivity is due to an imbalance between investments in technology and efforts to promote its adoption throughout the wider economy.

In other words, the adoption of robotics and other technologies is hampered by negative perceptions.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, WEF, says: “Global competitiveness will be more and more defined by the innovative capacity of a country.

“Talents will become increasingly more important than capital and therefore the world is moving from the age of capitalism into the age of talentism.

“Countries preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and simultaneously strengthening their political, economic and social systems will be the winners in the competitive race of the future.”