August 25, 2016

Man vs Machine: Artificial Intelligence to kill jobs in India

Automation is deindustrialising India, which is not sufficiently innovative to face up to the threats posed by artificial intelligence, nor equipped to build on its mainstay capabilities in agriculture and other traditional industries.

The pronouncement by consulting giant Capgemini to replace almost 40% of its work done by its resource administration group with IBM's cognitive computing system, Watson, is an unmistakable sign that it is not simply dull or mechanical jobs that are at danger. Artificial intelligence (AI) is equipped for going up against those assignments that require analytical skills. The undertakings from education and ability advancement just got harder.

A granular look at employment trends, however, shows that job creation dropped significantly during Modi’s reign – down from 4.2 lakh incremental jobs created during January-December 2014 to 1.35 lakh in the following year across eight core sectors. Also, a structural shift in India’s labour markets – an increased emphasis on automation across industries and the inability of policy makers in gauging the looming threats posed by mega tech trends – has made an already monumental task of providing jobs to 12 million new market entrants every year over the next two decades, into an exceptionally onerous one for the NDA government.

By 2025, 70% of India's population is anticipated to be of working age. A lump of India's available learning economy would have been eaten around AI. As the information economy develops India's capacity to keep playing a major part in that relies on upon quickly raising the quality of education.

It is insufficient to have engineers who can compose code, we require a great many PhDs in building and maths and science, fit for basic thought. The education and vocational preparing system needs to take the genuine limits of artificial intelligence into thought in redesigning their course.


The fact that India lacks the coping mechanisms to deal with large-scale tech disruptions to its labour markets has been put on show by its IT services sector.

The sector has been the solitary engine for job growth in the past two decades – when India was transformed from a largely agrarian nation to a services-driven economy, bypassing the traditional manufacturing-led industrial expansion that could absorb millions of new graduates into the workforce.

However, as machines and robots now undertake the simple, manual tasks that lakhs of engineering graduates traditionally performed, India’s outsourcing job boom has come under threat. Faced with a scenario of rapidly shrinking employment opportunities in the IT sector, it is for the first time since 2009 that campus recruitment for engineering graduates is expected to decline – according to the IT industry body NASSCOM, which predicted a 20% drop in its most recent outlook.

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