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BW Businessworld

Smarter Systems WIll Enable Better Business and Opportunities: Ramesh Loganath, Prof., IIIT Hyderabad

Dr. Santanu Paul, Ph.D, MD and CEO, TalentSprint and Ramesh Loganathan, Professor, Co-Innovation and Head Research Outreach, IIIT Hyderabad talks to BW Businessworld about the new technologiues changing the job market. (Edited Excerpts)

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Dr. Santanu Paul

How AI is affecting the job market. How will it change the industry as a whole?

Santanu Paul: It is still early days, but the impact of AI on the job market over the next 3-5 years will be quite transformational. For example, entry-level BPO jobs in call centers such as customer support via online chat or email will disappear. Same can happen with many entry-level jobs in IT companies. Essentially, any well-paying job that involves providing basic information or generating ordinary content making simplistic decisions; will be automated out and handed over to machines.

Ramesh Loganath: That said, Infotech was always about improving efficiencies and accuracy. ai is yet another step in the same direction. we will get smarter systems that will enable better business decisions and tap into biz opportunities. opening new opportunities for new kinds of it systems. To that extent these are new jobs that will get created.

Companies are reducing their headcount? What will it take for employees to retain their job? What skills are needed?

Santanu Paul: Companies may not reduce headcount, but what is certain is that the rate at which they add new jobs will slow down considerably. Companies will no longer see high headcount as an asset. They will see it as a liability. Under these conditions, new skills will become very valuable.

First, if you have high learnability, you will be very valuable in the job market of the future. Second, if you have mastery in any area, your market value will continue to rise. Third, if you have a natural flair for inter-operating with technology, you will find the job market a welcoming place. Finally, those who are self-motivated and entrepreneurial will thrive.

What sectors will be the most affected by AI and what sectors will provide better employment?

Santanu Paul: Every sector of the economy will be affected by AI disruptions. There is no escaping this fact. That said, in every sector, if someone demonstrates skills such as high learnability, or deep mastery, or natural techno-savviness, or an entrepreneurial mindset, they will be highly prized.

Acquiring deep skills in AI and Machine Learning will be an insurance against the risk of obsolescence. IIIT Hyderabad has recently launched such a program for working professionals. We at TalentSprint are supporting the implementation of the program. We are seeing a tremendous response for the program from working professionals across the entire IT spectrum.

What can be done to bridge the gap between demand and supply of professionals?

Santanu Paul: The question assumes that the solution to the expanding skill gap is external. It is not. It's like asking what can be done to make the population physically fit. The answer lies in everyone changing their own mindsets and skillsets. We have to accept that our familiar comfort zone is going away, and start investing in our future selves. The motivation and inspiration to be future-ready professionals has to come from within each of us. There is no magic pill to swallow.