The battleground on which man and machine fights provide exquisite and exclusive opportunities to both, in flourishing, expanding and co-existing together. In the long run, everything supposed to fall in place, the recent best example would be fear of coronavirus. Not long ago, people were in their house hiding as if a scary monster was running around the street to prey upon every human on this planet, within six months coronavirus had become new normal for humans as if it was always a participant of human’s daily stress and anxiety.
Ever since the on growing development and advancement in the field of mechanization and digitalization, we had been scared by the popular beliefs about an unprecedented “Robot Apocalypse.’ Digitalisation and automation might be inevitable but so does Human evolution. In all the years surviving on this planet, humans won every time because of their sense of adaptability to changes persisting to mechanical development were at equal speed. The pace of transition has been fastest in recent years and if humans are not ready to adopt the changes as frequently as required, would that mean that humanity is losing the race against the Machines?
Brief History machine’s evolution
A man in the sixteenth-century used looms to manufacture long sheets of stocking materials when all the labour around was used to be manual labour. It was just part of a production that had been mechanised, but it devoid the interest of the inventor in reducing the time and cost put into manufacturing any product. The quicker and cheaper method had become the basis of machine development in the textile industry.
Hundreds of years later, Industrialization changed the colloquial of societal norms. It began with the textile industry, the industrial revolution even stimulated the food industry. Urbanisation, population growth and growing demand for food, farmers needed to adopt the fast way of sowing seeds and ploughing crops that result in the more mechanical invention in farming.
Automobile sector paced the growing use of robots in the manufacturing of vehicles. It was in the latter part of the twentieth century when the robotic mechanism had been introduced to assembly line tasks such as welding and spray painting, humans were mere gaffers, there to supervise the machines. The range of automation had been widened and robots had been magnified to do complex procedures, ever since.
Value of labour
In the Sixteenth-century, Lee ‘the inventor of the first machine’ had been denied a patent by Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth said to Lee “ Thou aimest high, Master Lee. Consider what the invention could do to my poor subjects. It would assuredly bring them to ruin by depriving them of employment, thus making them beggars.’
The Industrial Revolution surely refuted the statement of Queen Elizabeth. More machines ensured more jobs, more jobs ensured prosperity, more prosperity ensured more demand and more demand ensured more production. Machines become a more integral part of economies around the world.
For long every country had thrived under this vicious circle. Sheer perfection amongst the labour was another reason that kept shortening that distance between Unskilled and Skilled labour. With that said, the evolution of computers reversed the cycle and the difference between the skilled and unskilled instead of shortening started to project a gap.
Automation has replaced unskilled employees to the very best and is in the journey to replace major skilled employees. Of course, nothing would defeat human intervention as for one job destruction there are two more jobs taking place. When ATMs were introduced, the experts showed the same concern about the job losses of cashiers around the world, but it helped in job creation and cashiers are still co-existing with the machine.
The main goal of any automation always has been to reduce the cost and time of the product. Now, labour can surely co-exist with the machines but can it defeat the machine. For example, if a fisherman could be replaced by fisher robots, and if they couldn’t deliver as many fishes as fisher robots would within budgeted cost and time, it would be a very easy decision for many decision-makers to switch to robots or the burger flipper if couldn’t flip the burgers at the speed and frequency matched with a robot, his job would be in danger as long he wouldn’t be willing to work for lesser money.
All that ensure the abundance flow retained to privilege class. Though the prediction of the future has always been unreliable, it is always fascinating to fetch glimpses of the future.
The futurist Thomas Frey has projected the loss of around 2 billion jobs by the year 2030, roughly half of the jobs around the world. Automation had recouped the pave for growth, majorly for developing countries like China and Thailand. The cheap labour force in those countries provided developed countries way out of investing major funds in automation. Hence both developed and developing countries flourished alongside. As of now, China’s Labour isn’t cheap anymore, this is the major decision point for most companies whether to shift the plant to cheap economies or to look for automation.
In India,80 percent of employment is generated through the unorganised sector and formal employment only projects 10 per cent of total employment. Service sector had been a major contributor to Indian GDP, growth of the service sector had been 63 per cent in the last decades but still can create 25 percent of total employment. 63 per cent of employment is provided by agriculture and construction and all of those jobs requires very low skills
Most of the employment in India had been in categories of semi-skilled and unskilled employments, which required basic to no education and no training. Continuous mechanisation if not replaces the labour will sure be able to limit it if the lower education is still pervasive.
The futurist Thomas Frey used his pessimistic viewpoint as a wake-up call. He argued that inventions would keep generating new job opportunities which require a modern perspective. The new employment opportunities comprise of jobs which had not been there last year or years before that, for example, Zomato delivery boy or the automation of various medical procedures in the current pandemic situation.
Team of teamlease services has estimated that by the year 2022, 9 percent employment will be deployed to new jobs, 37 percent of employment would require a new skill set and the remaining 54 percent will remain unchanged. The team also mentioned that 49 percent of companies are already reaping benefits of automation and by 52-69 percent of repetitive jobs are at risk of automation.
There would always be something yet to be explored.
Pandemic had upon flood gates for work from home, but even with that the developed country like the USA wasn’t prepared for such a situation hence only 29 percent of employees had actually worked from home. This is such a blow on the preparedness of any economy and to alleviate that in future this certainly requires a different perspective and innovative ideas.
It’s an open house of invincible opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Compaction will lead many businesses, such as power generation plants. Now, with the solar system there is no longer need for wide arrays of wires or towers and expansionists would narrow down the whole system to roof assembled panels.
Regardless, the wealth creation would keep generating demands and in return, the supply would require a new workforce and new business opportunities. All that and the individual’s preparedness to change and train himself as and when required would always give him upper hand on any machine.