Most Government Workers Could Be Replaced By Robots, New Study Finds

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Emily Zanotti via,

A study by a British think tank, Reform, says that 90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots, saving the government around $8 billion per year.

The study, published this week, says that robots are “more efficient” at collecting data, processing paperwork, and doing the routine tasks that now fall to low-level government employees. Even nurses and doctors, who are government employees in the UK, could be relieved of some duties by mechanical assistants.

There are “few complex roles” in civil service, it seems, that require a human being to handle.

“Twenty percent of public-sector workers hold strategic, ‘cognitive’ roles,” Reform’s press release on the study says. “They will use data analytics to identify patterns—improving decision-making and allocating workers most efficiently.


“The NHS, for example, can focus on the highest risk patients, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions. UK police and other emergency services are already using data to predict areas of greatest risk from burglary and fire.”

The problem, Reform says, is that public sector employee unions have bloated the civil service ranks, forcing government agencies to keep on older employees, and mandating hiring quotas for new ones. The organizational chart looks like a circuit board—and there’s no incentive to streamline anything.

Unfortunately for civil service workers, it seems the study is just the latest in a series of research  that won’t save their jobs. Oxford University and financial services provider Deloitte, both of whom comissioned their own studies concur with Reform‘s conclusions. The Oxford University study said that more than 850,000 public sector jobs could fall to robots over the course of the next decade.

Reform suggests that government employees should probably look into opportunities presented by the “sharing economy,” like driving for Uber – at least until robots replace those, too.

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38BWD22's picture



Bwa ha.  .gov "workers", LOL!

Actually I did work for .gov many moons ago, but I can't talk about it....  ;-)

bh2's picture

Same here. Could never figure out how any honorable person could tolerate the abuse long enough to retire there.

stacking12321's picture

Blockchain based tech will make all gov workers obsolete

Peter Pan's picture

Does the term government workers include politicians?

lil dirtball's picture

This article should send chills down the spine of any human. If we think .gov is cold and ruthless now, just wait until a machine with all the emotion and consideration of a phone menu takes control. Is given control.

Every day that goes by and we get closer to this happening, is every day that it goes faster. Closer gets here faster every day.

The Luddites weren't necessarily wrong - and this robotic shit that's going to manage us like farm animals ain't right.

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Elites in their ivory towers and their metal nannys controlling the masses. Not going to go over well... anywhere but in the ivory towers. Robotic security forces will have to phased in before they can send too many people to the unemployment lines. Eyes wide open folks...

sleepingbeauty's picture

But on the other hand you get rid of inefficiency, incompetance, and vindictiveness. I'd call it a win.

roodeetoodee's picture

You read like someone who heard a buzzword and is now blindly repeating it to seem tech savvy. Tell us. How will blockchain based tech make all gov workers obsolete?



Amalgamated Tang's picture

Most goverment workers, state and federal, could be replaced by a rock. 

In fact, a single rock could replicate the value 75% of all Government workers provide to the taxpayer.

TheEndIsNear's picture

That's not true. A rock doesn't doesn't have to be paid a salary and is thus more valuable than a government worker.

Amalgamated Tang's picture

...Or a pension! We may be on to the budget deficit solution here.

runningman18's picture

Most government workers I've met ARE robots. 

vato poco's picture

maybe not as easy as it sounds. do y'all have any idea how hard it is to program a robot to be insolent and surly? to shuffle papers and forms *wrong*? to show open contempt for the people they're there to "serve"??

JRobby's picture

Theoretically, a robot would not make a mistake if programmed correctly. But assume  GOVT emoloyees would be programming them.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Any job that requires building documentation or the mechanics of actual exchange is at risk.  That is a much bigger part of work than most realize.  Time to streamline it.


Probably teaching and healthcare need some serious streamlining there too, but that is an entirely separate issue.

any_mouse's picture

And blockchain based weed will replace marijuana.

East Indian's picture

True. Gov is 95% only registers and databases; a blockchain, run by whoever is interested, and paid by self-generated alt-coins, exchangeable at a fixed rate to hard currencies, will encourage all and sundry to dedicate a portion of thier computing power for maintaining a public, transactional, failure- proof database. 


I expect some cash-starved country to take this up first. Oh, wait, once we abolish physical cash, there will be no cash-strapped country in the world! 


(the last line is sarcastic)

OregonGrown's picture

.....which means the PUBLIC UNIONS would be obsolete as well........


Think about all those pensions and early retirements WE WILL NEVER have to pay for again!


Cant wait!

OverTheHedge's picture

If memory serves, I have signed the "official secrets act" at least 4 times, but I can't for the life of me remember why....something to do wi t h parking tickets? Government serves no useful purpose, other than continuing to govern, which is very useful for the government.

Of.course, the UK .gov has nothing on Greece, which has taken bureaucracy to a completely different level. There's a reason that they call it "Byzantine".

847328_3527's picture

"Government worker" is an oxymoron.

old naughty's picture

Needn't say no moar,

except moar Coming soon after all the barristers are replaced...

lawyers, engineers, doctors, and accountants (ha!)

Time to run to the hills (on Venus of coz).

1980XLS's picture

Most Gov't workers are morons

kellys_eye's picture

I seem to recall reading that, at the height of the British Global Empire the whole lot was run by a team of 4,000 bureaucrat's and assorted bigwigs.

We now have 1/1000th of that empire and 1,000 times the workforce doing the same job.  Factor of 1 million.



SWRichmond's picture

Nice comfy office jobs for women, data entry, shuffling paper around (by email now, they have adapted), lunch at Olive Garden.  Long live the man-cession!  The entire reflation effort was directed at useless city "jobs" which don't make anything, which in fact are detrimental to the wealth-producing (tiny) part of the economy still remaining, but the occupants of which can be relied on to vote socialist.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Paper pushers with fancy titles who are just glorified secretaries are at big risk.


I am lovingit.  That is a bastion of snowflakery

Spike8877's picture

i can see fast food joints but not gov it wouldnt look good.

sun tzu's picture

Having previously worked for the government, I say 50% of them could be replaced by paperweights

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I nominate Lt. Commander Data for Secretary of Labor, Interior, Energy, HHS, and DCI. To replace all existing Secretaries.

Not only will he do a far better job, but you can't bully, blackmail or bribe him, blow him or squeeze his pussy.

 Chuckle all you want, but you know it's true.

old naughty's picture

+ a quad trillion.

And if Q is one of them, appoint him Secretary of ReEducation.

Global Douche's picture

Which earthly nation would Spock be best suited as Ambassador to? I'm at a loss to figure this one out.

Steroid's picture



Wouldn't you feel sorry for them begging on street corners?

Scrubbing Bubblez's picture
Scrubbing Bubblez (not verified) Steroid Feb 9, 2017 12:01 AM


gimli's picture

Most government workers could be replaced with paper weights.

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

I was going to say....a brick hanging on a lever

847328_3527's picture

Still working on how to install ebonics and the attitude in these fellows.

Robot wit an attitude!

A Nanny Moose's picture

Most activities that are regulated into existence, are easily replaced by automation. A tale as old as IBM + NAZI

TeethVillage88s's picture

But you can't replace a Slutty Dog and Pony Show by Elizabeth Warren(TM Teethvillage)(see article on niece of MLK on ZH today about references to Corretta Scott King).

- Some of you are too young to remember that TV Cameras in Congress gave birth to the phenomena called Dog & Pony Show, where politicians no longer work in Congress... they posture in front of cameras and present a show... they are also probably called Poseurs in France)
- I'm not so young, I just don't watch cable and have a poor memory

any_mouse's picture

They never worked in Congress on the floor in public.

"Smoked filled backrooms."

Dragon HAwk's picture

But would the robots accept the demeaning position?

darteaus's picture

Most could be replaced by a Barbie or Ken doll - cheaper than a robot.

Semi-employed White Guy's picture

Most government workers don't even need to replaced.  How would you replace the SEC "worker" who surfs web porn all day with a robot?  How would you replace a Department of Education "worker"? What does that one even ostensibly do? Or any number of affirmative action hires at any government agency at any level? It would be cost-prohibitive to make a typical robot dumb and useless enough to be a "civil servant".

Bill of Rights's picture

You mean theres a difference?

Blackhawks's picture

Fucking retards. Get a life or let a robot get one for you.

old naughty's picture

Singularity is coming,

have you not heard?

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Can it wait just three more years?   I am not ready yet lol

Duc888's picture

Actually it's much worse then that. 80% of fedgov could just be handed fucking pink slips.

The world would be a better place.

Blackhawks's picture

Fucking retards. Get a life or let a robot get one for you.

blargg's picture

Now that'd be true justice; the people ramming minimum-wage laws through become too expensive to hire and get replaced by machines that are happy to work for $0/hr.