But it also suggests that 133 million new jobs may be created as organizations shift the balance between human workers and machines, a net gain of 58 million.
Many new jobs may be less secure than in the past, as businesses are increasingly turning to contractors and freelancers, the Swiss foundation said.
Nonetheless, amid mounting automation anxiety, news that robots will likely hail a net positive creation of jobs is heartily welcome.
Machines are expected to perform about 42% of all current tasks in the workplace by 2022, compared to only 29% now, according to firms surveyed by WEF. Consequently, humans will go from performing 71% of total task hours to 58%.
Artificial intelligence and its impact on jobs has become a hot topic of debate and many experts have predicted that machines will ultimately replace millions of jobs in the next decade. But it said half of all companies plan to retrain only for "key roles", and only one-third say they plan any retraining for at-risk workers. The latest edition of the Future of Jobs Report covered over 300 global companies from a wide range of industry sectors. For example, automating a business process like parsing a legal contract requires somebody to set up and coach the technology until it can do its tasks on its own. Even if they are - there's no guarantee that workers will prefer the new tasks assigned to them.
"By taking a more holistic approach to the future of work, a man-machine partnership will open up a new realm of possibilities for organisations".
"People, whether they're workers or consumers, will only accept and tolerate the consequences if technology serves them - and not they it", Reiner Hoffmann told daily Welt in reaction to the WEF report.
So it'll be farewell to jobs such as office administrator and driver, and hello to new roles such as drone piloting and remote patient health monitoring.
The changes are already being felt in some sectors, with the likes of software engineering, user experience designers and data analysts on the up across western Europe between 2013 and 2017 while sales, journalism and admin work experienced a drop.