How AI will Create New Jobs while Destroying Old Ones?
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Back in 2014, when Narendra Modi took charge as India’s Prime Minister, job creation was right at the top of the agenda for the government. Fast-forward to 2018, unemployment still continues to be a troublesome area.
Take a glimpse of India’ star sector- IT. The 160 billion dollar industry witnessed around 56, 000 layoffs. Now with US President Trump’s new laws about H1B1 US visa, India could soon see the return of over 4 million US visa holders. But the question is where are the jobs?
India’s Layoff Story
According to experts, most of the jobs are being slowly taken away by automation and technology, especially artificial intelligence. Vijay Mukhi, a veteran technology expert, and author shared an example of Audi 8, which includes a driverless feature.
“Everyone around is talking about driverless cars as the future. They are operating in Germany today, but the only limitation is the moment the car goes beyond 60 miles per hour, it insists that the driver takes over. In due course of time, this is going to change and cars will pretty much drive themselves with least human intervention. So, with such cars in the market, jobs of drivers are very much at risks," the veteran said a day before he passed away.
The example is more or less in line with the Indian IT industry's woes. With most of the coding that can now be done through artificial intelligence and machine learning, why would people hire programmers? Or for instance, the BPO business, which would act as backend support to world largest MNCs are now replaced by chatbots powered by AI.
These jobs are gone and gone for good, Mukhi added.
AI – the Job Creator
A few weeks ago, in an interview with Entrepreneur India, Kalyan Veeramachaneni, Co-founder, Feature Labs, said India will continue to grow alongside AI and the opportunity here is not just for the IT sector, but also for industries like BFSI, retail, and education.
However, technologies like AI, machine learning or even blockchain are extremely complicated and together they have the potential to create a lot of new job profiles. The Accenture and IBMs of the world are doing a lot of work on AI in India. Countries like New Zealand, Australia and even part of Europe are inviting AI professional from around the globe.
Veeramachaneni insisted that the nation has an enormous amount of talent but needs tools and technologies to work with the technology. So, for India to grow alongside AI, the Indian government and Industry has to first embrace the technologies and upcoming automation.
One of the things the stakeholders can do is talk about AI through mass media, such Modi’s Mann Ki Baat radio program. Secondly, the government should incentivize AI learning not just among students, but even mentors who are willing to take up the job,” Mukhi shared.
Additionally, corporates should also consider investing in upgrading their existing and new workforce.
Aditya Malik, MD & CEO, Talentedge, an ed-tech startup also operating in the corporate training space, noted that "Courses which encourage design thinking, deep learning, and machine learning are required to help IT professionals stay relevant. While, valuable academic partnerships will also help ed-tech and institutes deliver industry relevant courses to working professionals, further enabling their future course of action."