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It’s often said that human labor in many routine operations will be replaced by computers and rendered unnecessary in the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by artificial intelligence, the internet of things and big data. But even if replacing human labor becomes technologically possible with the aid of AI, whether firms or government offices will actually do so from a cost-effectiveness viewpoint is another matter.

In short, they will refrain from automation in production and replacement of workers by AI unless the cost to recover the initial investment for the introduction of AI and recurring expenses for its use becomes sufficiently cheaper than the total cost of employing such workers.

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