CREATIVITY VS. ROBOTS – The creativity economy and the future of employment

Nesta released a follow-up to their “Our Work Here is Done: Visions of a Robot Economy” report from 2014. This time they are looking at creativity in the UK and how creative jobs will be more resistant to automation in the future.

In ‘Creativity vs Robots’ we show that creativity is inversely related to computerisability: 87 per cent of highly creative workers are at low or no risk of automation, compared with 40 per cent of jobs in the UK workforce as a whole. At the regional level, we see that places with a higher proportion of the workforce in creative jobs, most obviously London, are also more immune to automation.

Such findings should not be surprising: they reflect the fact that machines can most successfully emulate humans when a problem is well specified in advance – that is, when performance can be straightforwardly quantified and evaluated – and when the work task environment is sufficiently simple to enable autonomous control. They will struggle when tasks are highly interpretive, geared at ‘products whose final form is not fully specified in advance’, and when work task environments are complex – a good description of most creative occupations.

A further new study for Nesta shows that creative occupations tend to be characterised by higher than average levels of life satisfaction, worthwhileness and happiness – but also higher levels of anxiety.

[Read the report (PDF)]

New research by Adobe breaks down the perception by the U.S. of being the most creative country. According to the study that honour goes to Japan.

It is also interesting to note that 75% of the respondents called out that the requirement at work for being productive killed creativity.