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In the Era of Digital Revolution, increased automation is reducing job opportunities tremendously world over! For instance, there are now Robot surgeons such as the da Vinci system that can act as a doctor’s hands! Even there are some restaurants in Honk Kong that have introduced robots that make your dining experience something out of the world. There are hotels in Japan entirely run by robots.

New competitor!

While robots have introduced a new excitement for customers and their immediate beneficiaries, owners, – it may have depressed job seeking unemployed youths who have now a new competitor in automation!

Man vs Artificial Intelligence!

Can automation and software replace people in many jobs, traditionally considered as human intelligence driven enterprises as against artificial intelligence? The argument generally put forth in favour of automation is that though it may have cut jobs in the high-skill job segment, it is unlikely to impact low-skill job market. Does, then, a waiter’s job fall under ‘high-skill’ category?

Impact on Employment

As machines, software and robots become more sophisticated, some fear that the world may stand to lose millions of jobs. According to one unpublished study, the coming wave of technological breakthroughs is likely to endanger up to 47% of total employment in the United States. Shock and surprise may be awaiting many youngsters, ready in a corner, with their detailed resume!

Areas of concern

The fact files of recent years point to improved industrial robotics to automated translation services, resulting in a sluggish employment growth over the last 10 to 15 years. The warning signals are already there for average worker. Experts foresee arrival of powerful new technologies that may slash employment opportunities not only in manufacturing, clerical, and retail work sectors but also in professions such as law, financial services, education, travel and medicine.

Raging debate

The points being debated are:

  • Has computers not generated such fears? Yes. Computer applications had a force multipliers impact and it created more jobs than it wiped out.
  • Cutting edge and rapid technological changes are now destroying jobs faster than creating them- particularly in the advanced countries.
  • Automation has reversed the logic of more growth and more employment generation. In recent times, automation-led high growth has resulted in lower job creation, particularly in America.
  • Jobs that involve any kind of routine or repetitive work – mental or physical – are at a risk of being ousted by automation.

Counter argument

The counter argument, however, is machines have been taking our jobs for centuries.

  • Electric washing machines transformed clothes cleaning from hours-long task into something accomplished with the push of a button.
  • Power tools made construction immensely efficient and replaced many hands.
  • Computers eliminated labour-intensive, by-hand calculations and writing.

New skills for jobs

Use of Google search has led to fears that librarians would be rendered obsolete. Instead, openings for librarians actually increased. The rider was that new skills were needed to excel at the job to remain in the driver’s seat. Not for nothing, Infosys, which is currently training about 5,500 entry-level engineers on its new Infosys learning platform, has introduced several changes to its traditional training programme, in Mysuru, including increasing the duration of training, to make employees adept in areas such as design thinking and artificial intelligence.

Shaping talents for future!

IIHT, a leading IT training Institution offers popular IT Programmes that make students more employable in the job market. The mantra is – Skill & re-Skill. So, the new and higher-level skills are needed to be acquired to handle automation inspired industry jobs. And, you have to train yourself in the cutting edge technology to man the machine (threatening to take your job!).