In the next 15 years your enquiries to civil servants could be answered by robots. Anyone who spends hours on automated calls, might be a bit dubious about this plan.
However, the Reform thinktank believes that computers and robots will improve the customer service experience. They believe that a quarter of a million public sector jobs will be slashed due to this technological advance. Not great news for those in the public sector, who have hardly had a pay rise in the last few years.
We would access information suing website and AI “chat bots” which would save billons of pounds and provide an efficient streamlining various public sector bodies. However, the savings will come at the expenses of a huge amount of public sector roles, currently carried out by humans.
The technology could remove the need for some 130,000 Whitehall administrators – around 90% of the total – by 2030 and save £2.6bn a year in the process.
The group claims a further 90,000 NHS admin and 24,000 GP reception jobs could be automated in the same way, saving around £1.7bn.
In this scenario it could be argued the public purse would save a huge amount of money, but how the 250,000 jobless people could be brought back into job market, has not been explained. If they ended up on benefits, then the saving could be wiped out by the payments given to these newly unemployed people.
Alexander Hitchcock, the report’s co-author, said: “Such a rapid advance in the use of technology may seem controversial, and any job losses must be handled sensitively.
“But the result would be public services that are better, safer, smarter and more affordable.”