A dual edged sword called automation
Transitioning employability in a digitised world
The increasingly recurring precedence of automotive processes over clerical type manual labor at work has been revolutionizing culture at work around the world. This trend has been in constant practice since early 2000. Ever since after World War II, economies around the world have worked towards rise in productivity as was the general acceptance of nature in human behavior with the onset of the industrial revolution. Digital revolution was only the obvious eventuality. Our race has come to a point where we have chosen the cloud over ourselves. The question is at this stage of technological evolution; will some of us be witnesses to the existence in a digitized universe?
Imagine some of us actually valid enough to experience our AI John asking us at the counter if we’d like our milk a usual liter or more.
Tabloid and economists have explored the growth of digital autonomy over the years and the general consensus has been a diplomatic reply that although automation is replacing manual labor, it strikes the right balance in productivity and job availability. India itself is 55% geared towards automation and ranks 44th amongst technologically advanced countries. Big Data, block chain and AI have taken over monotonous work and the speeding direction of workforce is towards replacing jobs with digitization.
W. Brian Arthur, a visiting researcher at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center’s intelligence systems lab and a former economics professor at Stanford University, calls it the “autonomous economy.” It’s far more subtle than the idea of robots and automation doing human jobs, he says: it involves “digital processes talking to other digital processes and creating new processes,” enabling us to do many things with fewer people and making yet other human jobs obsolete.
There is a general transition of how work is gradually being perceived across geographies. Blackboards have been replaced by laptops and online courses have made teachers obsolete. Amazon’s Kivas make more packaging possible in a day that most laborers could only dream of in spite of walking ten miles to reach one product to the warehouse. We really are witnessing the most controversial times in human existence by gambling away our need in the face of digitization.
Clerical to automation, admin to apps and man’s word to mail, we are transitioning from heart to brain and brain to wired processes; one step to another into eliminating one employment type after another and creating a world where very unique skills are needed at jobs today. This has modernized education, livelihoods and lifestyles at all levels in the human chain.
The existence of our future generations is determined now by how they can outsmart digitization for their requirement in a digitized universe. How they can co-exist with the AI to lead the trend of humans over aliens is now determined at the grass root level with a change in the very foundation of what skills are needed for jobs around the world.
Have we finally arrived at a stage of industrial revolution where our race starts to co-exist with aliens? The question is also how this transitioning paradox will play out for us eventually.