We live in an age of rapid transformation!! New technologies and smart applications have become widespread. The ability to create, distribute and effectively use technology has become a major source of competitive advantage. This has reshaped how businesses perceive technology and forced them to reimagine even the successful business models.
‘Artificial Intelligence is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.’ – John McCarthy, father of AI
At the recently concluded Davos 2018, the annual meeting conducted on global concerns by the World Economic Forum, Sundar Pichai observed a very powerful and positive outlook about the role AI is playing in transforming the world around us.
AI system will function in a way where it learns from experience, then it uses the learning to reason, it will recognise and analyse images, it will also solve problems, will also understand language and its complexities.
The biggest sector gains will be in retail, financial services and healthcare as AI increases productivity, product quality and consumption. The economic impact of AI will be driven by Productivity gains from businesses automating processes, gains from businesses augmenting their existing labour force with AI technologies and increased consumer demand resulting from the availability of personalised and AI-enhanced products and services.
Although AI has dominated the discussion forums for a long time now, the voice of dissent regarding automation replacing jobs is getting stronger. Although India is just starting to invest a considerable sum into the development of AI and other smart technologies, 7 lakh low-skilled Indians in the IT and BPO sector are likely to lose their jobs to automation by 2022 as per a report by a US-based research firm.
I personally believe that while AI is definitely going to replace humans in jobs that do not require human intervention. However, it will certainly open a lot many avenues to explore for a lot of industries, especially education. One of the major roadblocks for India is a lack of skilled workmanship to prevent its workforce from losing out on their jobs to technology. Education or perhaps a lack of it plays a pivotal role here. Although the Govt.’s Skill India Mission is a step in the right direction, there’s a lot of more that needs to be done at the initial level of educational provisions.
The curriculum at school level needs to be re-written, re-formulated and developed in such a manner that children learn to embrace innovation and help develop their faculties to innovate for a better future. It has to start at a foundational level, so that children understand the importance of technology and the role it’s playing in our lives. Re-skilling and upskilling of the existing workforce are equally important measures that require mass execution. The faster we roll these strategies out, the easier it will be prevent the damage.
AI is and will remain a dominant force. To enable us live better lives or to snatch away our jobs – it’s on us how we perceive it and make use of it.
AI has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the market through the creation of innovative new services and entirely new business models.