British jobs will be wiped out by artificial intelligence, warns Bank chief

Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane (PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Artificial intelligence has the potential to wipe out thousands of British jobs, the Bank of England’s chief economist has warned.

Andy Haldane said the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution will see “the machine replacing humans doing thinking things”.

“The first three industrial revolutions have been about largely machines replacing humans doing principally manual tasks, whereas the fourth will be different.

“All of a sudden it will be the machine replacing humans doing thinking things, as well as doing things,” Mr Haldane told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He added that the “hollowing out” in the past could be on a greater scale in the future.

His comments echo those of the Bank’s Governor, Mark Carney, who has previously spoken about large-scale technological disruption to the jobs market.

Mr Haldane added: “Given that the scale of job loss, job displacement is likely to be at least as large as that of the first three industrial revolutions, we will need even greater numbers of new jobs to be created in the future if we are not to suffer this longer term feature called technological unemployment.

“It has not been a feature of the past, but could it possibly be a feature of the future? I think that is a much more open question than at any previous point possibly in history.”