Skip to content


Who’s afraid of the big bad truth… It doesn’t sound like apocalypse soon

Who’s afraid of the big bad truth… It doesn’t sound like apocalypse soon


In March this year, the Institute for Public Policy Research (no less, and from here “IPPR” to save time)…the IPPR predicted an imminent “jobs apocalypse”, with eight million listless souls in the UK alone slumping off to their local Job Centre. And guess which bogeyman will be shepherding them this time from desks and factory floors to life on the dole …Liz Truss, giving economic popcon another go, or perhaps another worldwide shortage of silicon? Well, neither, as it happens, because the villain of this particular apocalypse, as if you hadn’t already guessed, is our old f(r)iend AI…(strike out the “r” if you’re not AI friendly). According to the IPPR, those most at risk are women, “young people”, and anyone on “lower wages” (which sounds suspiciously generic to me, but there you go…it doesn’t pay to wallow in the weeds when the end of the world is nigh). 

But weed wallowers or not, the IPPR are much more certain about what the end of the world will actually look like; it will be bristling with businesses rushing to buy AI technologies, each of them suspiciously capable of reading, writing, sorting data, and coding in what, for a machine, passes for their sleep. And bingo! In a heartbeat…all those workaday, commonplace tasks like writing restaurant reviews, replicating Scarlett Johansson offline, and laboriously counting stock in any given shop have all disappeared in a puff of smoke. It’s what the good folk at the IPPR call a sliding doors moment (, and who knows…they might be right. 

Or maybe not…


The PWC Version

That other well-known clairvoyant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has also produced a report on the very same issue (, and according to them, each of the sectors most deeply affected by generative artificial intelligence will witness a radical increase in productivity, with workers commanding the sort of wages we haven’t seen since Elton John upped rates for his poodle grooming team. To be precise, PwC is predicting wage rate growth to be five times higher in sectors affected by AI “penetration” than in those struggling with pencil and paper.

And across the fifteen different territories covered by their report, PwC found job postings requiring AI skills were growing 3.6 times faster than non-AI vacancies, which doesn’t sound much like economic Armageddon: more like a reallocation of existing resources within a static market (hence the higher salaries on offer).

PwC also predict 45% of total sectoral gains in the years through to 2020 will be the result of AI product enhancement and a consequent uptick in consumer demand…leading to a $15 Trillion contribution to the global economy, and a 26% boost in GDP across affected economies. And that, in all honesty, doesn’t sound much like Armageddon either.

PwC certainly weren’t mincing their words when the report was launched: “This could be good news for many nations facing shrinking working age populations and a vast unmet need for labour in many sectors…AI can help ensure that the labour supply is available for the economy to reach its full potential.”

So, there you are: you pay your money, and you make your choice on whether this all means beer and Skittles or economic catastrophe. But as Mr Barret Kupelian (which sounds very much like a name made up of AI)…as Barret Kupelian of PwC also said, “the future potential of AI could be transformative.”

Indeed, it could.


Executive Overview

The Networks are filled with stories about the destructive power of AI, equalled in number only by reports of AI’s redemptive powers…I’m inclined to believe the latter.

Invest in Red Ribbon Asset Management


Red Ribbon Asset Management ( aims to harness the full potential of fast evolving and emerging technologies to meet the needs of global communities as part of a circular economy, fully recognising the compelling demands of planet people and profit.

Suchit Punnose

Suchit Punnose / About Author

Leave a Reply