Automated technologies have already influenced numerous fields, placing pressures on job vacancies and regular employment. Certain positions within the organisations will also likely become redundant.
Robots have revolutionised industrial manufacturing and now they are being showcased for food production and restaurant kitchens. Artificial intelligence (AI) machines today can do multiple tasks where learning and judgement are needed.
The present phase of increasing automation is believed to forge new type of jobs for those that have been made redundant, similar to that of the third industrial revolution. However, the dissimilarity is that today’s AI technology has the intent of replacing people rather than merely making industry more efficient. This will result in unforeseen consequences.
The societal impact AI technology brings about cannot be measured solely based on productivity. The contemporary society requires employment as a source of income and for emotional wellbeing; and without it can result in a significant impact on our social well-being.
Automated technologies have already influenced numerous fields, placing pressures on job vacancies and regular employment. Certain positions within the organisations will also likely become redundant. Simultaneously, information technology is already creating an significant impact on the education industry. Due to the challenges from online courses and high operating costs of centralised campuses with expensive infrastructures, few universities in one of the world’s fastest-moving economies have proclaimed to cease operation.
According to one of the latest research reports on the effects of automation on jobs, skills and wages for the period ending in 2030, estimates that almost 50% of current work activities are automatable by technologies that have already been tested and found effective. The report expects 400 million to 800 million people to be displaced by automation in the next 12 years, creating a challenge potentially greater than past historic shifts, at least in the modern era.
Therefore, one of the means to overcome the identified challenge include the retraining of workforce. However, this retraining will involve more than just substituting one set skills for another. There is need for a more generalised education so that it is possible for workers to be trained in short order for multiple tasks in a highly automated labor market. Despite so, tertiary institutions have yet to address this challenge with any priority.
In addition, most migrants today are finding employment in unskilled jobs that are most at risk due to automation advances. Hence, societies will have to be ready for the challenges of re-training and educating this unique segment of the workforce. Machines will continue to substitute humans at jobs, thus the challenge is to be informed of the costs and risks so that one can create effective strategies for the future.
Participate in the upcoming QS WorldClass 2018 from 16-18 April 2018.
This is an event organised exclusively for senior higher education leaders and key industry partners. Interested in making a change to the higher education world? Come join us in Abu Dhabi as we discuss on the “Changes in University/Industry Interaction”.