Artificial Intelligence (AI) indeed is going to have a defining impact on humans. Every field of human activity is going to be influenced in some form or the other.
I have attended my share of seminars, expert talks, literature reviews etc. Conclusions made by various experts can be summarized in following broad themes:
i. AI is certainly going to affect job/employment space. Industrial Revolution 2 and 3 impacted blue collar job space; Industry 4.0 is certainly going to adversely impact ‘White Collar jobs’ and ‘Professionals’ job category.
ii. Nature of jobs in themselves would undergo changes. There is going to be huge demand for qualified human capital in Big Data, Data Scientists, Robotics, Coders/Programmers in the space of IOT, App Developers, anti-Cybercrime experts/ethical hacking etc.
iii. It is difficult to estimate the exact impact of AI on current nature of jobs- but the prognosis is not very encouraging.
In all the discourses, I have found one thing entirely missing- which is – How can we use AI to create the future that is desirable for human societies of today and tomorrow?
Fundamental of entrepreneurship is solving human problems and in the process, create value proposition for which buyers are willing to part with their money in exchange of product or service and investors are willing to invest their capital in anticipation of sustained or higher returns.
Material questions to me are:
– What are the current and future problems of human societies?
– How can we leverage power of AI to solve those problems?
Today I see big influence of AI on consumer facing industry. Intelligent back end programs read my data consumption patterns and start throwing options that are intended to influence my buying decisions.
This indeed is a big shift in terms of how we used to make our purchasing decisions just a few years ago.
But should human activity and enterprise be limited to create consumption based societies only?
It is the responsibility of entrepreneurs, business managers, leaders, policy makers and influential decision makers to make sensible choices that are right for present and future generations.
Talking about a country like India, wherein we have a large population to take care of, power of AI should primarily be channelized towards following areas:
i. Livelihood Creation: When we talk of AI taking away human jobs or creating redundancies, we are talking of about a space wherein only 5%-6% of working population is engaged in organized industrial sector. What about MSMEs, Agriculture and allied Industries, Healthcare Industry etc. which need professionals to cater in India as well as abroad? AI can play big role in creating aggregator platforms seamlessly linking demand-supply sides, including skill/capacity building. In areas wherein manpower supply is limited, technology can provide intelligent solutions.
ii. Sustainability Oriented Enterprise: Renewable energy, sustainable organic agriculture, climate change reversal projects, food security, healthcare etc. are important sectors for sustainable future.
My experience of working in these areas suggests that there are ample opportunities to create employment, raise income levels while solving societal problems. Technology can help to scale up scope and number of projects, cover larger geographical area and provide effective monitoring tools and techniques.
iii. Tech Education and Skill Training Industry: In organized sector, different skill sets and qualifications would be required. Even in brick and mortar industries, industry would need technology literate managers and leaders. Tech Education and Skill Industry will have a big role to play in this space.
To summarize, one could look at human needs and requirements from ‘outside-in’ perspective and use AI to deliver solutions that are faster, accurate, cost effective and scalable. Technology after all, is meant to serve humans and not vice versa.
– Rajesh Vaidya
(Views expressed in the article are personal)