DailyPost 2677

Unemployment, underemployment, seasonal employment and preoccupations in this genre, any government would not imagine to face, even in its nightmare. But unfortunately, there are few governments that can escape handling it. Going by their proven track record, very few have been able to manage it well, leave aside getting over it. It is an eternally complex and difficult task to handle. This problem is bound to persist for a variety of reasons, but simultaneously another even more dangerous one is on the horizon. It is the impact of AI on the job market. Ignorance and bliss are intricately tied.

The challenge is that if you finally get sucked into it, you will never be able to come out of it. The eternal optimist what we Indians are, has been dismissive of the job losses, on account of the onslaught of Artificial Intelligence, AI. They say that every industrial revolution, same scare was raised and the world has been able to get over it. We don’t even want to know about the ones who paid the price. That the AI revolution would be radically different, by its pace and coverage, we are not able to fathom out now. The differential levels of impact, in different industries cannot be imagined today. When will the breaking point of exponential transformation of job market happen and in which industries cannot be predicted, but to wish it away would be a disaster.

A sane thought by one of the main proponents of the AI game, came from Davos, by none other than DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, who warned that AI is ‘fundamentally labor replacing’ tool over the long term. The surreptitious nature in the beginning makes the danger manifold and very difficult to strategize on the what is seen on the face of it. His statement sounds prophetic, “In the long term… we have to think very hard about how we integrate these tools, because left completely to the market and to their own devices, these are fundamentally labor replacing tools.”

What does an AI tool do is the prime question? As per Suleyman and we too would agree, first they make existing operations more efficient. It would lead to huge savings for businesses. This would happen more often than not by replacing humans who did that job. Second, AI would also allow for entirely new operations and processes to be created-a process that would lead to job creation of a new type. Suleyman’s prophecy is that both these forces would hit the labor market in the coming years. It is bound to leave a serious but unpredictable impact. Time we give a serious thought wherever we are positioned and the policy makers and strategists need to take out time for the most important engagement of our times, likely to change mankind completely and forever.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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