A recent report by industry analyst firm HfS Research has spelled a period of worry among the Indian employable pool. While until now a scenario like robots taking over and humans left to tend for themselves has only happened in fiction, the report hints that there’s a strong possibility of the scene happening in the real world soon as automation is becoming the new BFF of industries plagued by the corporate curse of budget cuts.
“The Armageddon days of talking about robots taking our jobs are over – these are now the reality days where we can see exactly what’s going on with automation and AI, and accurately estimate how it’s going to impact the services industry in the next few years,” the HfS report reads.
The report published by the firm states a firm statistic backing its claims. It reveals that automation could cost a whopping 7,50,000 jobs in the next five years, in India.
The report also highlighted that Indian IT and BPO services industry is currently working on providing “more for less” by employing the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI). This has lead to evolution of job roles from low skilled workers carrying out simple entry level, process driven tasks that require little abstract thinking or autonomy, to medium and high skilled workers doing more complicated tasks that require the person to be capable of managing machine-learning tools and autonomy.
The Hfs report also flashed light on the fact that the demand for medium skilled roles is picking up pace across the board. It states that automation will give birth to about 3,00,000 mid-to-high skill jobs by 2022, but this number is nothing in terms of the 7,50,000 jobs that will be lost as a result of it.
The HfS Research is in sharp contrast to a recent report in MIT Review which has a different point of view to offer on the matter. According to MIT Review’s report, Asia’s AI agenda: the Deep Dive Editions, when it comes to Asia, AI will not result in any job cuts in the region, in fact it will help economise Asia’s human talent.
The report unearthed that a majority of the Asian-based senior executives strongly believe that AI will significantly help them in improving their own competitiveness in Asia, especially when it comes to process efficiency and their ability to making use of customer data to garner better insights.
In fact, the Indian government was also signing the same tune as MIT Review report and had recently said that job loss through automation in India is not be a matter of grave concern as the “growth momentum” of the economy will lead to creation of new job opportunities.
According to the HfS report, India and the US will register a total worker reduction estimated at the 10 per cent level by the year 2022 in the services sector. Last year, a World Bank report titled “Digital Dividends” had predicted that automation threatens the longevity of 69 per cent jobs in the Indian subcontinent.