Technology has an undeniable impact in improving living standards and increasing productivity. But with the rapid technological advancement of recent years, computers are increasingly encroaching on domains that were previously considered exclusively to human resource. Artificial intelligence is already transforming the world of work, but the future is hard to predict. Classical manufacturing ways & service-aligned businesses are being disrupted in a never seen before manner.
The first three industrial revolution were sparked by steam engine, electricity & computers. The fourth one will pushed by automation, augmented reality, cyber-security, cloud computing to name a few.
There is rampant worry over potential impact of these factors on rate of employment. According to a recent report published by MIT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will not exactly eliminate jobs, but it will deconstruct them in the near future. IT services industry alone is set to lose 6.4 lakh low-skilled positions to automation by 2021, according to HFS Research report.
Another report by Mckinsey suggests that 400-800 million jobs around the world could be displaced by the end of 2030. This will lead to need for re-skilling and training the workforce. We must be fully prepared to embrace the new era of AI, blockchain, additive manufacturing and emerging technologies. According to a PWC report, AI will contribute as much as $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030.
In general, automation affects employment in two opposite ways:
Negatively – by directly displacing workers from jobs they were previously performing (displacement effect)
Positively – by increasing the demand for labor in other industries or tasks that arise due to automation (productivity effect)
Two of most centered fear is that new technological advancements would lead to rise in inequalities and lack of social blend. Elon Musk has stated that AI represents an essential threat to humanity and has suggested tight regulations on its application. Bill Gates has said that robots need to be taxed to compensate for greater efficiency compared to humans and suggested the pace of automation should be closely monitored. Still AI/ Automation can be a game changer in various fields like Governance, Education System, Banking network and various others.
The advent of artificial intelligence, sharing economies, automation and digital currencies are likely to disrupt the face of the Indian business landscape, as we know it today. According to Accenture report AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s economy by 2035, lifting it by 15%.
What should we as a nation need to do to embrace technology, create new jobs and meet the requirements of the changed scenario?
- Reorient India’s education system to emphasize skills development rather than mere degree hunting attitude.
- Look to constantly upgrade skill level.
- Create a highly flexible, resilient and adaptive workforce
- Prepare to embrace the new era of AI, blockchain, additive manufacturing and emerging technologies.
To sum it up, upcoming years will not be of unemployment, but of redeployment. Beyond that, however, the picture is far less clear.