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Tech Will Drive Efficiencies, Not Kill Jobs

Technology is and will continue to be a part and parcel of our everyday lives, changing the way we think, behave and adapt

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We are at the cusp of a great tectonic shift and a new technological era is dawning upon us. Therefore, it is of extreme importance for us to focus on the impact that various technologies have on businesses now, and in the future.  

Today, tech giants across the globe are highly invested in studying developing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) including IIoT (IoT in industrial setting). These technologies have already started bringing a revolutionary change in the way brands do business and are growing in leaps and bounds across verticals. This is coupled with the fact that the amount of data being generated is phenomenal -- an estimated 20 billion connected devices by the year 2020 -- and we will be looking at one trillion connected devices and things by 2050!

Combine all this data being generated, with the advances being made in the compute power, AI and ML, it will lead to the next wave of innovation. In fact, the time is not far when businesses, will harness AI to do data-driven “thinking tasks” for them, significantly reducing the time they spend testing new innovations and in debating and scoping options.

It is true that the industry is quoting theorists (and sceptics) who claim that AI will replace jobs. However, in a more positive realm, these new technologies have the potential to eliminate mundane repetitive tasks, reducing human errors and bringing in efficiency. As is true with all the advancements, none have eliminated or reduced jobs; instead they have made us more accurate and most importantly expanded employment opportunities. Similarly this shift will create new job opportunities in the next decade.

What we need to realise is that tasks that are mundane, voluminous and repetitive in nature will be outsourced to machines, hence reducing errors, saving time on tedious repetitive jobs. In fact, product design as a task is most likely to be outsourced to machines by 2030 as per Indian business leaders followed by administration tasks such as scheduling meetings and diary management. However, strategic thinking and emotional quotient are areas where we will always need human intervention.

In India, the Artificial Intelligence Task Force is one body which is using these new technologies as a means to an end. Led by the Professor Kamakoti Veezhinathan from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, the goal of this task force is to prepare the country for economic transformation which can be achieved by leveraging these technologies. This 18-member task force, comprising of academicians, government officials, corporates and people with other specialisations are also creating a policy and legal framework to accelerate deployment of AI technologies in the country.

Many businesses are torn by what this new era will mean for them, their business and the world at large, ten years down the line. The challenge for them will be to prove the business value of AI technologies and make sure they have the right infrastructure and talent. However, with businesses united in their perspective about the need to transform, it isn’t all gloom and doom. Personally, I feel that this is an exciting time for all of us. Technology is and will continue to be a part and parcel of our everyday lives, changing the way we think, behave and adapt.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Rajesh Janey

The author is MD & President, India Enterprise, Dell EMC

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