A new report by Thinktank Reform suggests almost 250,000 public sector workers could lose their jobs to robots over the next 15 years.
According to the report, artificial intelligence could replace up to 90% of state administrators and NHS employees by 2030. The replacements could cut costs by as much as £4bn a year.
Nurses and doctors could too, according to the report, be replaced at some level with machines able to perform some diagnoses and routine surgical procedures.
It is proposed within the report that replacing some people with machines would be beneficial for services like the NHS. Artificial intelligence could use data-led systems to protect high-risk patients and reduce hospital admissions.
Police in the UK already use a similar type of data-led system to predict and therefore protect areas at greatest risk from burglary and fires.
One of the authors of the report, Alexander Hitchcock, stated in an interview that he understood such a rapid advance in the use of technology may seem controversial, and any resulting job losses must be handled sensitively – but emphasised that the result would be public services that are better, safer, smarter and more affordable.