Why you shouldn’t lose your job to machines

Thursday December 13 2018

Jobs. Customers in a banking hall.  Types of

Jobs. Customers in a banking hall. Types of jobs and employment are changing the nature and conditions of work by altering skills requirements. FILE PPHOT0 

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Kampala. With technology and innovations increasingly redefining how people live their lives, there is a growing fear that at some point, intelligent machines will be fully deployed across the economic sector, rendering human beings unemployed.
This is already happening. And according to analysts, this is set to continue.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of about 400 students of International University of East Africa (IUEA), an institution of learning making a mark in driving innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent, Dr Nishikant Sonwalkar, one of the respected scholars of technology and innovation, said although the current environment demands a new kind of worker for the information highway also termed as ‘knowledge workers,’ there is no need to worry.
He said: “We need knowledge workers and not industrial workers. This is because most of the industrial revolution jobs will be done by intelligent machines. We are now witnessing the dawns of intelligent machines, which are challenging the skills of human beings and achieving better and accurate results.”
As a result of that, Dr SonWalkar who is the Principal Educational Architect at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, rhetorically asked: What is next for the mortal human beings with the limitation of skills? What is the strategic advantage human beings have?
“The answer lies in creativity of the human brain,” he said.
He continued: “Human brain is the most advanced computer in the world and everybody possesses the finest and fastest computational machine.
But what separate human beings from intelligent machines is that machines can never compete with ingenuity and creativity of human brain. In fact, it is the creativity of human brains that has given rise to the age of intelligent machines.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report titled ‘The Impact of Technology on the Quality and Quantity of Jobs’ released at the beginning of the year, jobs that require routine tasks have either disappeared or will disappear soon.
“New technologies are affecting the functioning of labour markets and challenging the effectiveness of existing labour market institutions, with far-reaching consequences for the number of jobs, their quality and the diversity of opportunities they offer,” reads the report in part.
In an earlier interview with the Daily Monitor, Prof Tonny Oyana, the principal of Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences, said many jobs currently being done by human beings today will be replaced by machines.
The disruptions are not yet felt in Uganda because the labour here is still cheaper compared to the cost of procuring machines.
He further argued that computers can now be programmed to learn and perform tasks just such as humans, including diagnosing diseases.

Relevance in jobs

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report titled ‘The Impact of Technology on the Quality and Quantity of Jobs’ released at the beginning of the year, jobs that require routine tasks have either disappeared or will disappear soon.
To remain relevant in the job market despite evolving technology and innovation, Dr Sonwalkar suggests producing data-driven knowledge workers.

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