Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ability to replace human jobs over the next few years has been the buzzword around the valley in the recent past. If research and number were to be taken as any parameter a recent study by Obama administration pointed out that almost half of the US jobs would be taken over by AI by 2036. To add insult to injury, certain studies have pointed out that close to 6% of US jobs will be replaced by AI as early 2021.
Recent behaviour of the Indian ecosystem has definitely shown a trend of following valley technology. Whether this poses more as a bane than boon is something we will have to wait and watch, but in a country like India which is majorly human resource driven, taking pride on its educated work force and the world largest population in the working age group, the possibility of losing out major employability to AI could pose serious problems.
Here is a list of 5 jobs that AI poses the most threat to (based on already existing technology)
The courier industry in India is estimated to be worth INR 14,000 crore (2015-16), with an anticipated growth rate of around 17% p.a the industry is expected to be at about 21000 crore over the next 3 years alone. Currently in India this industry employers about 11.9 lakh people directly or indirectly. With Amazon DHL starship already having successfully tested their pilot delivery system for drones (air) and robots (land) recently on December 7, 2016, the recent future seems to be wide open for AI driven delivery systems. In US, this system alone is expected to replace over 73,000 jobs with an estimated Human Resource value of over 2.1 Bn Dollars.
Cooking is seen both as an art and a science by many. Moley, the world’s first fully functional robotic kitchen, may seem unnatural at first but on closer inspection it seems like the perfect solution for commercial kitchens. Various elements of cooking have been automated by technology in the recent past, a fully integrated automated cooking system will not only help commercial kitchens save time and cost but will also enable them reach the level of standardisation in taste which could otherwise be impossible.
In India this may seem a bit of a far cry but the London based company is really taking the US market seriously with the potential to replace around 2.3 MN jobs with an estimated impact of 55 BN dollars in human compensation.
E-commerce and social media were probably the biggest things to happen in the last decade or so. Having said that, it was only considered a matter of time before companies like Amazon decided to venture into brick and mortar stores. Enter, AMAZON GO, the world’s first (soon to be launched) automated store with no checkout required. Customers can simply download the AMAZON GO app, and quite literally “pick up and walk out”. Amazon is in process of opening their first 1800 Sq. Ft. Store in Seattle, Washington. With Amazon taking the Indian market very seriously for their e-commerce business for now, this may be a sign of bigger things to come. Statistically, Retail segment employs over 3 million people as cashiers in US alone with an estimated value of over 66 BN dollars per year.
Customer Service Representatives
The availability of educated, efficient labor at a reasonable cost made India the “Outsourcing Hub” for customer service jobs of the world towards the turn of this century. Recent developments in technology may be in a position to take all that away. Even though countries like Philippines have recently seen interest from international businesses for their Customer Service outsourcing, call centres remain one of the largest employers for over 2.5 Million students graduating in India every year. AI integrated smart chat bots for customer service is estimated to have an impact on over 2.5 MN jobs with an total cash value of over 60 BN dollars.
This may seem a bit farfetched, but considering the recent developments in this space this could very soon be a reality. With companies like Tesla, Google, Uber, Nvidia working on their own versions of self-driving cars, pilots have already begun in the US markets. Indian markets may pose its share of difficulty with regards to execution of this technology but it seems only a matter of time before we give in. Lets look at this as aviation which needed some convincing on the safety front before mass acceptance, similarly self-driving cars may need some educating but considering the large scale benefits in terms of efficiency, cost and safety, it is inevitable that this technology becomes mainstream, and even though it seems as an alien concept that would take close to a century to commercialise in India, we need to understand that technology has changed the way we live more in the last 15 years than in the century preceding that. This pace of development and acceptance may make the organic penetration of self-driving cars something we can expect to see in the next few decades itself. The US labor stats indicate that self-driving cars pose a threat to over 4 MN jobs in the US with an estimated Human labor value of over 140 BN Dollars.
Most of these problems may seem distant, some even purely ambitious but with companies possessing a strong global as well as Indian presence like Amazon, Google and Uber behind some of these technologies, their possibility cannot be ignored. US statistics have primarily been shown as an indicator of the level of penetration these technologies are expected to have, and even though these 5 jobs may only be the tip of the iceberg it is safe to say that over the next few decades the HR landscape may completely transform from what our understanding of it is at this point in time.