The Institute for Public Policy Research warned lower-skilled jobs were much more likely to be phased out in the coming decades, and only higher-skilled workers would be able to command better wages.
According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) automation could raise UK productivity growth by between 0.8 to 1.4% annually, and boost GDP by 10% by 2030.
However, it said these gains might not be shared evenly, as on average, low-wage jobs had five times more "technical potential" to be automated than highly-paid jobs.
The IPPR estimates that 44% of jobs in the UK economy could feasibly be automated. Although it doesn’t give a forecast for how long this would take, it cited US research which estimates the changes could occur over the next 10 or 20 years.
The sectors most at risk include:
transportation (where 63% of jobs could be automated)
wholesale and retail trade (65%)
The IPPR said workers capable of using advanced machines would see their incomes rise, extending the earnings gap.
"Our analysis shows that jobs with the potential to be automated are associated with £290bn of wages each year," said research fellow Carys Roberts. "Much of this will be replaced through increased wages due to higher productivity and new jobs created, but a substantial portion could also be transferred from wages to profits. Within that, some people will get a pay rise, while others are trapped in low pay, low productivity sectors." She said the jobs most at risk of automation were disproportionately based in poorer areas of the country, and held by women and those from ethnic minorities.