CEO: Robots won't destroy all the jobs because someone has to service the robots

  • Each new robot in the workplace can replace roughly six human workers, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research
  • So anyone looking to avoid career disruption should look to jobs related to building, programming, deploying and maintaining robotic devices, according to software company Autodesk's CEO

Each new robot in the workplace can replace roughly six human workers, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

And not only is that a possibility, but it's a certainty for some professions.

"No doubt that some aspects of automation are going to eliminate certain jobs," said Andrew Anagnost, the CEO of software firm Autodesk. "What we have to focus on is what jobs are going to be created."

Automation refers to machinery and tools in a process or system that requires minimal human oversight to operate.

And while automation may not destroy every opportunity for human employment, Anagnost said, the new jobs created are mostly going to be related to building, programming, deploying and maintaining robots.

A robot at work in Osaka, Japan.
Everett Rosenfeld | CNBC
A robot at work in Osaka, Japan.

There won't be a lack of opportunities in this coming world, he said, but there may be a dearth of sufficiently skilled workers to fill those technical job roles.

To address this problem, many are advocating for companies to prepare their employees for the workplace of tomorrow by training them alongside the advancements of technology.

Anagnost was speaking to CNBC about automation because his company is looking to drive more automation into digital manufacturing and introduce new production methods. That can help reduce costs and time, Anagnost said.

"Something that is automated is less costly and less complex to execute on," he explained.

In part because of its growing urban populations, the Asia-Pacific region is looking to double the amount of spending on building and purchasing robots — China alone wants to build 100,000 industrial robots a year, Anagnost said.