These are the days where you hear a lot and read a lot about Automation via Bots, the way it brings in better efficiency and the way it is going to spell doomsday on many of the jobs.
Here is the latest on some executive posing with a cute little bot.
Before you get wowed by this story, the hard reality is the other side of it, where another version of this story is also accompanied by the number of jobs that the bank is planning to slash because of Automation and in the name of better efficiency.
Welcome to the era of Automation and Bots!
The real merit of these kinda news could be true especially in the Indian context, which has been the primary destination for many of the low-skilled, rule based jobs from across the globe and that quite ironically drove up our Information Technology revolution and GDP growth. Remember, the IT-BPM sector contributes nearly 10% of our GDP. So, any threat of job loss due to Automation spells doom for our future jobs and economic growth. While the political parties are busy blaming each other for the reasons for jobless economic growth, what they are not telling you is that it is not an easy problem to solve in this modern age.
No one can stop industries getting re-imagined for efficiency, quality of service and better product innovation. This is one of the sole efficacy of Technology – to help solve some of the complex problems faced by the humans and to improve their reach. But, the same technology cannot be an alternative to humans, because of lack of skills and abilities. This will lead to a cycle of anarchy and economic disaster.
Ask the same executive who is gleefully posing beside the Bot, who would be consuming or paying for his service in the next decade or so. KYC for Bots, perhaps? Hmmm. I suppose, we are not yet ready for such a science fiction story yet, when we are still struggling to keep our streets swachh.
Automation, Job Creation and Economic Growth are all so closely tied to each other with another important element which I find so easily and painfully ignored these days – Education and Talent Creation.
I feel, the only way out to face this scenario of increased Automation, from the Jobs perspective for the future generation, is via up-skilling oneself, moving up the knowledge chain and our capability levels to jobs that require different skills for the modern age.
While one side of the world is about Bots encroaching our job market, the other side is the sad reality of enterprises struggling to find quality talent on the future skills. Data Sensemaking, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Mobile development are all some of the areas that already drive the job market these days.
Most importantly, given the pace of technology change, and the way the tools and techniques become obsolete so fast, what gains importance is the renewed focus on ‘how’ we learn, ‘what’ we learn. Staying grounded on Basics and developing one’s foundational skills like Creativity, Critical Thinking, Curiosity and most importantly Agility to stay relevant in the changing times and that helps us weather the storm of future change with gusto.
Automation is for real and let us brace ourselves. And, the only way to face this onslaught of software mechanization is to get out of our deep slumber on how we have skilled ourselves thus far.
Let’s not wish for less automation, instead, wish for better skills. It is exciting time ahead and let’s try to stay relevant.