The world today is evolving at a faster pace. New technologies are being worked upon, inventions are being made, new jobs are being created with older ones getting obliterated. The pace has been overwhelming throughout! What started with an industrial revolution, has now given way to a technological revolution of sorts, with changes which were only dreamt-off of becoming a reality.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), as we keep mentioning time and again, was born from one such technological revolution. The basic advent came in the terms of automation – programmes being fed into robotic systems to automate the otherwise monotonous tasks. The result being Industrial Automation which had robots painting cars, carrying loads across warehouses, counting currency and even answering basic FAQs.
Many service-based organizations also started investing heavily in AI in the hope that it can improve their overall business efficiencies.
According to a recent report from Deloitte, 39% of the jobs in legal sectors are likely to be automated. Talking about automated, University of Cincinnati designed an AI that could take on a fighter pilot; Dubbed ALPHA is the system that beat the retired US Air Force Colonel Gene Lee in multiple flight simulator trials.
Though a lot of jobs were thus lost, a lot of others got created as well in sectors that were usually something not focused upon. The reason being human kind has never been very welcoming of the changes. For instance, when computers and more specifically IT systems were first introduced (especially in the Indian Context), the entire country went into a state of turmoil with cries of how it would result in joblessness.
But look, where we stand today with IT being one major source of job generation and the share in GDP rising from 1.6% in 1998 to over 8 percent in 2018 and about 2.5 lac jobs expected to be added in 2020 (As per recent estimates, the industry employs 4.5 million people directly/indirectly with an annual job growth rate of 7.5%). Technology being at the forefront of most of the changes since the Industrial Revolution has always been made into the demon, but it is only after a few years pass that we realise that it has actually empowered the human kind.
This entire war cry against these technological advances has been because of the fear of the unknown; we do not know where it will lead us to but, can we stop the advancement from coming? Certainly Not! However, we can definitely brace ourselves to make sure that whatever changes thus happen, either affect us positively or do not affect us at all.
This blog talks about these things w.r.t. the job scenario when AI comes into picture!
Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome the Change
With change being the only constant, it makes absolute sense to improvise one’s skill sets to be better suited to handle the developments. Talking in the context of job profiles, with AI being on the track to automate a lot of jobs, it is only some time before we see the demand for unskilled or semi-skilled jobs reducing in numbers. The monotony will be replaced giving rise to requirements elsewhere.
For instance, if a warehouse gets manned by AI based bots that can lift and shift loads, the demand for lift operators would reduce, but the demand for maintenance persons would increase. The skill set though different, may not be entirely as complex as it sounds. Another example would be automating the burger flippers at the fast food chains. It is only obvious that the company’s goal in making such an investment would not be just to cut costs, but it would also be to increase revenue. Hence, to match up the speed of the flipper, more patty chefs would be required. Thus, while the job of a burger flipper would be one less, the demand for patty chefs would increase.
Hence, wherever a person is working, they would have to carefully think about which probable domains can be replaced by AI/automation and then what the support functions for that domain would be. Having thought about that, the necessary skills will have to be acquired.
And all this is about the unskilled or semi-skilled jobs. For the skilled work force, with the current pace of advancements, it is a long way to go till there would be any significant disruptions in the domain. Also, with the increased advancements would come the demand for technical expertise and subject matter experts. Thus, in all likeliness, the jobs would increase instead of decreasing.
Stay Human, Stay Connected
Even though AI aims at reducing the human effort, there is one thing it will always find hard to beat- human interaction and emotions. With the advancements, AI might come close to replicating human behaviour on B2C platforms but then when it would come to B2B or brick and mortar set-ups, it would still be the humans who would be ruling.
Also, the fact that we are social animals, will always be the trump card. No matter how secluded we would want to live, some amount of interaction would always be required. The confidence which a human word and signed document would produce, would be hard to get from a machine talking.
Hence, people skills will be a game changer for many of the careers existing currently and so that would be one skill that would have to be developed and nurtured.
AI is in its growth phase, which way and to which extent will it go, cannot be said right now! The change has started coming and it will only get better. Humans can never be replaced, they would just be shifted, maybe forced out of their comfort to explore newer avenues to sustain professionally.
In the face of such unknown changes, it is important that we think our career choices through and see where we want to go. The Artificial Intelligence would grow, but then the brain developing it would grow faster. The race would thus be to evolve more and for better. Darwinian theories of existence would be put to test again. However, the situation is not going to be as dramatic as we just made it sound – so relax!
The transition would be smooth and will take place over time. One just needs to make sure that they keep up with the pace.