There is a fear among experts that use of Artificial Intelligence or technology will eat the jobs of blue-collar labour and white-collar skilled workers both. To substantiate this, JP Morgan Chase and Co. Developed a programme called COIN, that does the interpretation of legal agreements in seconds which used to take 3,60,000 work hours for lawyers before. In the same line, IBM’s Watson can analyze 1,000 cancer diagnose with 99% accuracy. This argument Instills more fear for developing countries like India where World Economic Forum estimates that automation threatens 69% of existing jobs.
The fear may manifest in reality in future if proactive approach is not adopted. Technology is double edged sword. Over dependence on technology without any further innovative conception of idea will breed stagnation. But if we act consciously, we can do wonders for the humanity with technology.
New jobs and avenues which never existed before may come up. For example, if whole banking system becomes automated without any need to have many physical branches where people go and transact, those who loose jobs in banking can enter in banking software industry being specialist Guides to software engineers and assisting them making the automated banking system more secured, expansive in reach. They can also turn into Banking teachers in rural areas where they can help understand the rural customer perspective and also train them to use automated systems installed in rural areas.
Having said that it is inevitable that workers who are averse to the use of technology will feel the pain initially, but we also know necessity is the Mother of Invention, they will learn to adapt collectively.For example use of GPS in Public transport taxi was feared among many Auto drivers because they could not imagine themselves using smartphones and Global Positioning System. This full form of GPS could send jitters in their minds but now in all major cities Auto drivers are teamed up with Ola, Uber using GPS system. Now they wait for phone call instead of waiting at one place whole day and sometimes ending up with no customer in a day.
Though the day is far but possibility is there that with the use of technology, we may discover the whole new planet and instead of going for a vacation on some place on earth, we may be using “make my trip” to some other planet. This shows that there is no end to new possibilities but for new possibility to arrive, it is important to exhaust the present ones and keep moving on. Let’s be the user of technology instead of letting technology be the user of humanity.
Sunil K Awasthi
Senior Faculty, North East Institute of Advanced Studies