By Sanchit Khera | The News Minute
While being a constant learner has its own perks in the industry you’re in, it may have long-standing repercussions in the world of AI and automation. When factory workers get automated and replaced for something cheaper and more effective, their skills become inadequate to survive. They then defer to other industries or make other industries more competitive with cheaper labour. That’s the true impact of automation that isn’t being addressed these days.
Research by IT giant Infosys and Future Foundation found that teens living in countries such as India, UK, USA, Australia, France and other leading economies have a significant fear of AI. The youth of these countries believe that their future jobs will be automated in the next 10 years. Many students are losing faith in traditional educational institutions, opting for online mediums as being primary sources of information. This body of research shows how unprepared a lot of our youth are, and how we should be encouraging them to be constant leaners.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom as Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft, believes that AI will not completely wipe out all jobs. It’s not sophisticated enough to be able to understand nuances and insights such that it can deplete all human labour from the free-market.
“We’re at that stage where the choices we make are grounded in the fact that technology development doesn’t just happen – it happens because we humans make design choices. Those design choices need to be grounded in principles and ethics – and [that’s] the best way to ensure the future we all want,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was quoted as saying.
Some of the leading minds in AI don’t believe that the technology is going to completely wipe out all need for human input, however they do believe that it’s important to be a constant learner. If you’re not directly affected by AI just yet but want to lead the next wave of change, then being a part of it is a good start. You’re going to be one of the few people who understand the technology through and through, and can bring real change in the company you’re working in.
CEOs and employees who are prepared for the future, make for better leaders. They handle large-scale projects and create bigger impact on a grander scale. They’re also more prepared from a strategic perspective and can provide new avenues of growth and sustainability. When the AI wave hits India, there will be two types of CEOs – ones who are prepared for it, and others who aren’t. The ones who are constant learners can ride the wave through profitability.
When it comes to leadership from the government, there is a significant push to ensure that things are in motion. While many in the leadership role believe that AI fears are exaggerated, there are many committees being set up to understand the impact of AI and jobs.
About 40 lakh people are employed by the IT sector with 1.3 crore people being indirectly employed by it. If an AI boom were to hit India in one go, it would mean a catastrophe for those who aren’t prepared.
“We are working with Nasscom…Also, I have already set up several committees to examine the whole matter. Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be used for governance…for improvement. We are working quite closely with other departments like Niti Aayog,” IT Minister Ravi Shankar told Economic Times.
When it comes down to it, you have to take the final call of being independent. Through the power of being a constant learner you don’t need to rely on red tape, localised changes or macroeconomic factors to take place. As the power of entrepreneurship brings about steady role changes, you’re better prepared to face any consequences of AI.
You’re also going to get first-mover advantage if you use AI to your benefit. Even if you’re at the bottom of your organisation’s hierarchy, automation will not affect you if you work harder at your role. You’re competing for ‘value’ and if you bring more value than an automation software, then you won’t be removed.
It’s not sustainable anymore to work with larger organisations. Five to eight years from now, it was considered to be a stable career, to get into these larger tech companies. Nowadays, it’s a better option to start a company that leverages AI rather than eventually being displaced by one. With this, you’re entering blue oceans instead of competing on low-skill, low-differentiation, red waters.
With many of the large organisations offering courses in AI, and some of the leading Ivy-League schools having classes in machine learning, there is no space for laziness. You need to take matters in your own hands and be one of the first few to embrace this change that’s coming.