Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the new buzzword in the corporate world. In the networked digital era amid proliferation of smart devices and surge of Big Data, AI or smart machines that can think intuitively and make intelligent sense of the vast data — is the new battleground that is roiling multiple sectors, disrupting companies and stoking new rivalries.

 

Artificial Intelligence is the ability shown by computers or machines in displaying ‘cognitive’ functions that humans associate with other human minds such as ‘learning’ ‘thinking’ and problem solving.

 

There are growing concerns, or more specifically outright fears, amongst the working age population regarding the effect of technologies like AI on jobs in future, and with good reason.

 

Challenge:

 

  • A recent study reported that the Indian IT industry alone is expected to see a loss of 6.4 lakh jobs (low and medium-skilled) by 2020 owing to the technology revolution and automation. Moreover, around 46% of India’s population below 25 years of age can be seen entering the job market with skills that will become obsolete at the time of their entry.
  • This excludes 40% of those in the age group of 26-55 years who are already employed in occupations which may be outmoded soon.

 

Issue:

 

  • Anything that requires middle skills will be made redundant first; low skilled and highly skilled jobs are comparatively less vulnerable.
  • Without massive upskilling and quality higher education, it will not be possible for the middle skilled to move into jobs requiring a high level of skill.
  • An economic scenario where there is high unemployment consisting of individuals incapable of getting a job simply because they do not possess the required skills can become a reality if India doesn’t prepare adequately for the future of jobs.

 

Suggestions:

 

  • Reinventing our higher education system and by providing the means for people to re-skill themselves significantly. More efforts should be made to strengthen the focus on how to mend our higher education ecosystem altogether.
  • A shift to lifelong learning is essential. As the pace of technological change quickens, we need to be sure that our youth keep up with the right skills to thrive in the ever-changing world of work.
  • AI needs to be first properly discussed in international forums and its impact analyzed before developing it any further.
  • Countries should invest more in R&D and technological transfers to promote the usage of AI.

 

AI is the future of science. Reaping benefits from the AI, conscious developments are to be ensured by scientists in a field as hypothetical as intelligence. Because Knowledge without character is dangerous to any kind of developments.

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