Automation and the future of jobs: the technological challenge for the world’s workers and governments | technology

Automation will occupy more than 11 million jobs in the United States alone in the next decade, according to a report released by Forrester a few days ago.

This is the bad news, but the good news is that automation will simultaneously create 9.63 million new jobs, and based on that, the net job loss will be 1.42 million.

It’s in America as in the world, and according to a recently published report by the World Economic Forum, the rate of dependence on machines in all kinds of works will rise to 52% by 2025, and automation, robotics and artificial intelligence will eliminate 85 million . works worldwide in the same period.

But the optimism is that automation will also create 97 million new jobs in the future, and that’s something to hope for, even though these jobs will be completely new, and many of them do not yet exist, and in any case, it is large numbers and large changes will take place in the labor market in the future In different countries and societies, which require rapid and practical intervention by governments, companies and workers themselves.

What can we do to overcome this challenge?

To answer this question, American journalist and author specializing in technology, John B. Mello, interviewed a group of experts in the field via the “Tech News World” platform, including JP Gunder, Vice President of Forrester Corporation and one of the authors of the aforementioned report. He began by saying, “This will mean that employees need to be rehabilitated and learn new skills, which is not something that every worker can accomplish on their own.”

He continued, “However, the ability of countries’ public policies to succeed in meeting this challenge will differ from country to country. For example, in Germany, where there are strong links between universities and employers, it will be easier. be to succeed compared to to the United States, where employees are often expected to find their own solutions. ”

The importance of rehabilitation and skills refinement

In turn, Jayant Narayan, Director of the Global Action Alliance for Artificial Intelligence of the World Economic Forum, told TechNewsworld that job losses will create challenges in both the government and private sectors, “at government level it raises questions about social security nets, investment in life learning programs, training of citizens in STEM fields, and other important factors. ”

He added, “Some of these criteria, such as re-education, will have a medium to long-term horizon, and we should not expect a quick fix for re-education. As far as the private sector is concerned, this raises questions about how to help workers to move from and careers towards Develop a broader set of skills that are in tune with the spirit of the times.

Daryl West, vice president of government studies at the Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization in Washington, stressed that “a lot of retraining is needed for workers.”

He explained, “There are retraining programs that already exist, but they are often not good enough, and they do not prepare people for the new jobs that are being created … We need better programs that fit the new jobs, and the problem is that many people who are in danger of losing their jobs do not have the skills needed for this. new works. “

“Many programs focus on very specific tasks, but the workplace is changing so dramatically that it’s hard to find jobs for people who can only do one thing. We need programs that understand what companies need and the skills they’re looking for. and cover them by offering Appropriate Training for Workers.

People working on new jobs should be known to work next to machines (Reuters)

Future careers and the importance of coexistence between humans and robots

Return to Jayant Narayan, who in his statements to John B Melo emphasized through the aforementioned platform that universities can contribute to re-skills by creating mixed courses that combine the humanities and technical sciences. “Engineers need to understand the ethics and implications of the systems before designing them,” he said.

In this context, Daryl West said that community colleges with only two years of schooling do a better job than four-year universities of preparing students for work.

He explained, “Community colleges are more focused on the local job market … They try to give students practical skills that will provide them with jobs in the future, while some universities educate and train students in the careers that existed in the past ., and not on the new professions that now appear. “

Forster, in turn, explained that the new jobs that will be created through automation will be in the areas of professional services and information technology, as well as in new industries such as renewable energy, green buildings, smart cities and infrastructure.

Gaunder noted that people working in the new positions should be familiar with working alongside machines. “Whether you have technical skills or not, you should be comfortable working in a mixed team of people and machines in which intelligent software plays a major role,” he said.

He added that the biggest impact of technology will come in the next phase in the issue of “changing the tasks” that form the basis of any particular job, not doing or taking on the job yourself.

Going back to Forrester’s report, which showed that giving up a specific task – such as automating expense reports, increasing the ability to solve data problems, or having a robot sweep the floor – changes the configuration of a specific task rather than replacing it. Forrester predicts that by 2030, 80% of jobs will be affected in this way, which improves the employee experience as specific tasks move to machines rather than people.

Leaders change their attitude

Forrester also found a change of heart among the top leadership over automation. She explained that leaders and managers have stopped seeing it primarily as an opportunity to cut costs and now see a wider range of potential benefits in automation.

She cited company data showing that 41% of data and analytics decision makers described cost savings as a benefit to adopt automation in 2018, but only 25% said the same in 2021.

In addition, Forrester found a significant increase in the proportion of leaders who indicated deeper insights and viewed “competitive differentiation” as benefits created by automation.

Among the range of other benefits created by automation mentioned in the report are filling talent gaps, releasing employees to do more advanced work, improving customer experience, quality and safety, and gaining deeper insights from data analysis to improve tasks and processes within and develop the work environment.

“Automation can be helpful in freeing people from dirty, dangerous, routine and completely inferior jobs,” West told Tech News World.

Build confidence

The report pointed to fears that technology would destroy works that are still popular among broad sectors of people, and may be justified, but the impact of automation on works will be much less in the future than expected, as seen by many observers .

Instead, technology and people will continue to become increasingly involved in reciprocal and interconnected collaboration, the formation of human / machine teams leading to new levels of quality and productivity, improved customer service and improved services to people.

Narayan commented on this point in his remarks to John B. Melo: “It is a process of building trust, and workers need to feel part of the journey.”

As for West, he stressed that “the most important thing companies can do is retrain their workers and cadres … When people see that an employer brings in automation, but trains employees and workers in his company for others “type of new jobs instead of dismissing workers will be more receptive to it. What not The workers want to be fired and left without enough income to support themselves and their families.”

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