scorecardAI is threatening small jobs but Indian workers are oblivious
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AI is threatening small jobs but Indian workers are oblivious

AI is threatening small jobs but Indian workers are oblivious
Tech3 min read

  • Workers and business leaders in India differ on how artificial intelligence (AI) can impact employment.
  • Only 4% of workers think that AI will be a threat to their jobs, but as many as 18% of the business leaders surveyed disagree.
  • Business leaders aren't too optimistic about skilling employees and AI being able to help workers with their existing jobs either.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a while yet a lot of people don't seem to fathom its impact. In India, business leaders believe that AI is going to eat away at jobs while employees don't seem to be that concerned.

A new study by Microsoft and the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows only 4% of workers think that AI a threat to employment. But, business leaders don't agree. As many 18% of business leaders believe that AI can take over jobs and replace employees.

Not only do business leaders think that jobs are on the line, not a lot of them are optimistic about reskilling their employees either.

As many as 32% of business leaders surveyed believe that workers find it challenging to pick up new skills. Only 12% of workers, on the other hand, see it as a challenge.

There's also a disparity in how business leaders and employees think these jobs will be augmented. While workers expect AI to help them perform at their existing jobs better, managers think that AI will cut out a lot of repetitive tasks in employee jobs.

These 'repetitive tasks' are what comprise of a lot of 'small jobs' at many companies. Small jobs are essentially tasks that don't require special skills or experience.

If business leaders believe that AI will won't help with existing jobs, can cut out repetitive work and see upskilling workers as a dead-end -- it's not surprising that they think that AI will slash jobs.

New horizons

While there's definitely a need to increase awareness around the impact of AI, it's also important to highlight the opportunity that it presents.

Provided workers are ready to learn new skills, the application of AI is likely to create a new set of knowledge-based jobs.

In order for businesses to capitalise on that opportunity, there are certain cultural traits it needs to embody, according to Ranganath Sadasiva from IDC. Empowerment, innovation, 'going beyond' and collaboration are four primary characteristics that can help create the right organisational structure.

Only one-third of the businesses in India taken a step towards AI. The ones that have, are expected to grow 2.3 times their size, according to the IDC's data.

IDC's 'Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific's Growth Potential through AI' surveyed 200 business leaders and 202 workers in India. The report was launched today alongside Rohini Srivathsa, the National Technology Officer at Microsoft and Girish Nayak, COO at ICICI.

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