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Exploring new jobs in the high-tech world

AI is revolutionizing a wide range of industries, from healthcare to finance to transportation
12:00 AM Apr 22, 2024 IST | Dr Muhammad Amin Malik
exploring new jobs in the high tech world
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The technological advancements benefit everyone. The computers, internet, social media, video conferencing, live streaming, online education, telemedicine have reshaped the various dimensions of our existence.

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The convergence of Artificial Intelligence(AI), Nanotechnology, Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printers, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Image Processing, Augmented Reality, Drones, Programmable Logic Controllers, are already on the scene. The use of AI is revolutionizing a wide range of industries, from healthcare to finance and transportation.

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The AI-powered self-service checkout machines and robots are undertaking mundane and dangerous tasks in factories at high temperatures in polluted surroundings. This in turn has led to a considerable reduction in the number of injuries at workplace with humans focusing on more skilled and less repetitive operations.

Time is not for away when there would be AI-based Health Advisors in hospitals, asking patients for symptoms, retrieving past health details, suggesting diagnostic tests, would analyze patterns across thousands of health records, to pinpoint on the most effective treatment for the patients.

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The disruptive technologies are reshaping various industries, driving innovation and redefining the future of work and fabric of society as a whole. Nonetheless, there are strong concerns that the staggering pace of technology has displaced workers, created unemployment and job insecurity.

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The history is witness to the fact that technology has eliminated jobs, reduced labor and repetitive tasks but its overall impact has been the creation of more jobs than it has displaced. The rise of power looms in the textile industry was not just a technological leap, but a turning point in the relationship between humans and machines.

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The studies show that 60% of employees working today are engaged in activities and professions that did not even exist 80 years ago. The 85% increase in employment since 1940 can be explained by the evolution of technology which has been responsible for new jobs. Think alone of “Internet”. It has transformed every aspect of our existence.

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Today we cannot conceive our lives without this invisible infrastructure woven to our lives, making the whole world a global village. There is no doubt that technological evolution has allowed employees to significantly improve their levels of efficiency and the organizations have started producing more in less time, which in turn has led to an increase in their revenues. The fact is that, the technology has made it possible for new industries to emerge and more people have shifted their attention toward new requirements of the employment.

Now, there exists a fear that AI will outperform humans at most tasks, displace human workers, especially in low-skill and low-wage sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation and retail. It is also anticipated that AI will impact how work is organized and regulated which requires new ethical and legal frameworks.

AI tools have already managed to automate numerous tasks previously done by humans and have the potential to make some significant shifts in the job market in the near future, leaving a large number of people without jobs. The studies have recently warned that, on a global scale, the latest advances in AI could lead to around 300 million full-time jobs being replaced by machines.

Both in the U.S. and Europe, around 60% of jobs could be partially or fully automated with about 25% of these being carried out by AI. Some experts say that we have reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates. However, the increasing number of workers has problems, adapting to the changes brought about by technological evolution and there remains a significant gap between the skills possessed by job seekers and those required by employers. The new jobs require specialists with skillsets say in Data Analysis, Cyber Security, AI Engineering and Social Media Managers, which are new fields. The key is to be adaptable in the new the technological landscape. The upskilling and reskilling is no longer an option but a necessity.

Amid rapid transformation driven by technological progress, the higher educational institutions have a crucial role to play in fostering a culture of research, innovation, entrepreneurship, to train students to effectively utilize new technologies. The institutions need to go beyond just teaching and exam-passing and bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical applications. The employers are increasingly prioritizing skills over qualifications. Our institutions need to shift from producing job-seekers to job providers.

There has to be the focus on our surroundings, real problems and markets. To encourage hands-on experimentation, creativity and problem-solving skills, especially in the context of STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics), there has to be “Tinkering Labs". In the whole gamut of things “creation of ideas” is important. Ideas can lead to identify opportunities, gapes in business/market and services, and provide supportive environment for ventures to grow and thrive. Entrepreneurship is an act of turning an idea into a successful business. It involves risk-taking, identifying opportunities and creating value for customers. By offering mentorship, support for innovative research with funding and access to resources, the Universities/Colleges can nurture fledgling individuals as well as groups to bring their innovative ideas to the market.

Coming back, we need to explore the revival of traditional jobs on modern lines. The technology could be used with improvisation in Shawl Industry, Carpet Weaving, Wood-Craving, Paper-Mashie, Fashion Designing, Carpentry, Masonry, both in design and automation that could become a celebration of human creativity and skill. For example, AI could be used in the development of new designs with QR codes to provide authenticity of the product.

The meticulous craftsmanship with inherent authenticity of our heritage would command a premium not only as products for individuals but also as sought-after-gifts for dignitaries both in the country and at the global level. The dependence on agriculture sector and the tourism has a huge impact on our economy. It is inspiring to observe young individuals, especially women, displaying entrepreneurial spirit in the face of unemployment.

Many have come up with projects in fish farming, sheep farming, fashion designing, readymade garments etc. In Feb this year, Kashmir Life-a weekly news magazine, ran an interview on its YouTube about a village farmer from Pulwama namely Gh Mohammad Mir, who seems to be one of the most progressive farmers in Kashmir. Mir, who started his life as a laborer, purchased land gradually and now runs a poultry farm, rabbit farm, fish farm, dairy farm and high-density apple orchard in a sprawling field where he also grows variety of vegetables. The octogenarian looking so fit with his work on sustainable integrated farming, showcasing an inspirational story and worth emulating. Mir, has not only created jobs for himself and others but is serving the entire society.

The internet is a huge repository of knowledge for all of us. The abundance of videos/reels/short-form clips/YouTube Shorts/DIY tutorials etc on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc are a goldmine for entrepreneurs, people starting business and other careers. Whether it is a clip on farming/gardening techniques, science projects, education, toy creations, these videos can provide ideas, valuable insights and knowledge about market trends and consumer preferences that can guide our product development and marketing strategies.

If such activities are taking place in different corners of the world, why cannot we take a cue from it to establish our own business or a career? There are areas like e-commerce Logistics, Renewable Energy, Waste Management and other Green Jobs, were services and employment opportunities can be created. The waste management has been our grave issue. Turning waste into energy has been a growing trend in Europe, Japan and other countries, why cannot we pursue it here? It is all about leveraging the wealth of information and creativity that is out there to fuel your entrepreneurial journey.

Technology is providing the basis for a new economy where most of the innovation and job creation occurs. During the last few years, we have seen umpteen government schemes guiding youngsters towards entrepreneurship, startups and innovation. Programs like Skill India, Startup India and Digital India aim to promote skill development, entrepreneurship and digital literacy among the workforce.

Further, the youth need to realize the facts that private sector offers ample opportunities for growth and it all depends on ideas, application of mind and improvisation, which are highly valued. Unlike the past, government jobs are now hard to come by, with no pension benefits, should be less appealing.

There has to be self-motivation to challenge societal prejudices and stereotypes to explore entrepreneurship, foster a culture of innovation and self-employment. The initiatives would mark a pivotal milestone in the pursuit of Prime Minister’s Modi's visionary goal of Viksit Bharat 2047-a roadmap to make India a completely developed nation by 2047.

 Dr Muhmmad Amin Malik, is a College Principal

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