The world has been keen on automation for several years now. Not often we see humans dispensing tickets or standing behind counters to help the customer. Screens have replaced humans in a lot of places. Receptionists don’t exist, and call forwarding is not a legit job. As a resident of a third world country and the second most populated nation, we are used to seeing human assistance for these simple tasks. I believe this is the right time to panic about how much automation has changed the world and will change our world in India too.
Some scientists have predicted that artificially intelligent robots could trigger a fourth industrial revolution. This is set to displace more than 50% of the current workforce by the year 2025. It is not surprising to discover that a humanoid robot could very easily perform most of the tasks that humans find menial. The robots could essentially over take 52% of the workload in less than a decade. In absolute numbers, a thinktank warned that a machine could force 75 million people out of job by 2022. Humans will be forced to change their education system and reconsider their traditional approach to jobs. This vision of the world will witness the computers and screens taking over the world. Even the rich may not withstand such an industrial revolution forcing most to the brink of poverty. Some fear that the social skills of humans may be lost in the chase to improve technology.
Clearly, the worry has escalated causing people to reject the idea of artificial intelligence. A future with robot may be more beneficial than we all think. A few experts believe that though jobs are shredded, it may not be completely eliminated. Humans will be occupied with more important tasks as the AI soaks up the boring ones. With the advent of drone deliveries, Kroger, the American supermarket chain has already employed driverless R1 cars for grocery deliveries. Driverless cars may be one of the most significant changes that may be observed in the near future. The paths have already been laid for the same.
Dr. Irving Wldaesky-Berger, a former IBM employee has observed that while some jobs are susceptible to automation, other jobs that require human interaction, judgement, social skills are difficult to automate. Jobs that were belittled in the past, will become one of the most important in the future. Students studying sociology and psychology will be able to explore the pinnacle of their potentials. At the same time, automated jobs may not completely disappear. He also believes that automating parts of a job will increase the technical skill required from the human workforce thereby improving the productivity and quality of non-automated jobs. It will complement their skills with the machines and computers while enabling them to focus on the aspects of the job that most requires human judgement and attention.
Embracing job shredding means that the humans have to rethink various tasks for which the existing workforce will assume responsibilities, while they maintain similar pay. The jobs will also have to be adequately important. For a country such as India which contains a towering workforce, is it possible to occupy everyone with skilled jobs? The country is battling unemployment before artificial intelligence has taken over, it is truly worrisome the future of developing countries in contrast with the already developed countries whose industrial revolution took place over a century ago.
To all of those who read and appreciated Dan Brown’s book Origin, it may be the right time to hope that such a future may exist in reality- a world where he hoped humanity and technology merged and was absolved off all religious conflict between the people. The real world is moving towards technological improvements that were never before perceived, machines are capable of so much more than we had imagined. Technology will become so much a part of our lives, that humans may soon evolve to incorporate that in themselves. Western medicine has already made use of the technological advancements that have been made.
The artificial intelligence that we are all so readily afraid off may not be the end of human resourcefulness. Humans are adept with skill sets that machines may not yet be able to duplicate. With adequate changes in the education systems, we can train the human workforce to be superior. AI may be the utopian future we were all hoping for.
Picture Credits : inc.com