Will AI and Automation hamper jobs?

Certainly. AI and Automation will hamper jobs. We are going through the fourth industrial revolution. Every industrial revolution of the past impacted jobs and livelihood. And this one will too. Burying your head in the sand will not work. It never did.

The first industrial revolution destroyed handcraft industries. People lost their agricultural lands to the factories. And unskilled labors were working in factories in poor conditions. The second industrial revolution saw production of steel, oil, and electricity that led to loss of jobs who were dependent on steam powered industries. Grueling shift in lifestyle from rural to factory life was seen. Children found working in factories. The third industrial revolution was when internet, personal computer, and information technology got introduced. Workers who were not computer literature were replaced by those who knew how to operate the technology. And it is yet not complete. There are still factories and businesses where unskilled laborers are being replaced by semi-skilled. The fourth industrial revolution has just started. Artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, and 3D printing are few of the advancement you are seeing.

Some are even touting the fifth industrial revolution, but it is not what you should worry right now.

Who will be out of jobs?

Except those who are in the driving seat, everyone will be out of jobs. There are two types of people out there. The one who is creating and contributing to AI and automation, and those who are on the receiving end. Whether it is managers, employees, or business owners, anyone who does not understand how to work with AI and automation, will be replaced by those who do. Most of the research agencies are saying that only the manual jobs will be replaced. These are the jobs that do not require thinking and can be easily done by a robot. They say that jobs where people interaction is required will be safe such as managerial positions and customer service.

But, even these will change.

A manager who does not understand how his transformed business environment function, he will not perform as expected. He will be replaced by those managers who do understand the new work environment. It is true that the position will not vanish. Companies will still need managers, but the kind of managers needed will change. These managers have to be more technologically forward. Same can be said about the customer service jobs. Position will stay because customers would want to talk to a human if robots fail to resolve their queries. But, the kind of customer service executive that will be required will change.

How can you prepare for the future?

Do not stop learning and learn what matters tomorrow. There are several publishers that regularly publish what is coming. It will give you insight into mapping your future careers.

If you are a businessman, find

  • whether your products and services will still be relevant after fifteen years.
  • whether you will be outdone by your competitors who will use automation instead of employees.

If you are a manager, find

  • whether your business environment or industry will change in the next ten years.
  • whether what you know today will still be relevant to handle your staffs.

If you are an employee, find

  • whether what you do can be replaced by a machine.
  • what can be the next thing for you to learn to keep you relevant for your company.

You can read more about the future in below resources:

https://www.cognizant.com/whitepapers/21-jobs-of-the-future-a-guide-to-getting-and-staying-employed-over-the-next-10-years-codex3049.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/26/jobs-future-automation-robots-skills-creative-health

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf

https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/t012-s001-best-jobs-for-the-future-2018/index.html

https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/t012-s001-worst-jobs-for-the-future-2018/index.html

https://hbr.org/2020/08/21-hr-jobs-of-the-future

Published on: November 7, 2020