McKinsey have released a new report on what they believe will be the most disruptive technologies, and the economic impact they will have.  The report, produced by the McKinsey Global Institute, has had input from the likes of Hal Varian and Erik Brynjolfsson.

It concludes that the most disruptive technology will be the mobile Internet, with renewable energy failing to live up to its hype.

mckinseyOf particular interest is the high placing of automating knowledge work.  The report outlines how the rising intelligence of computing can be both a blessing and a curse, taking on some of the tedious work we do on one hand, whilst also of course removing whole jobs on the other hand.

Whilst automation made a huge impact upon manual work, the report suggests the impact upon knowledge work would be subtler and more nuanced.

Nevertheless, the report suggests that automation could be performing the role of over 110 million people by 2025.  Whilst this may have many potential benefits in terms of better quality service, the knock on effect on society is pretty clear.

The full report is available below.  It’s 178 pages, but well worth a read if you’re at all interested in what the future could bring.