Muqbil Ahmar

Technology Evangelist, avid blogger and enthusiast, and basically a storyteller at heart. With more than 10 years of experience in journalism, I have enjoyed my stints with other media like TV, magazines, and Web. When not surrounded by startup and tech stories, I like to dig for inspirational ones. I write on Cloud, Big Data, IoT, startups, SMEs, Enterprises, Technology, ERP, CRM, and everything under the sun—viewed from the prism of new era tech.

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Humans Vs Machines: Is Automation Responsible for India’s Information Technology Layoffs?

Tech giant Microsoft is planning thousands of layoffs due to focus on cloud computing and automation.

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Tesla CEO and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has said that artificial intelligence poses an "existential threat" to human civilization. "AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization, and I don't think people fully appreciate that," Musk says. He explained that he has access to really cutting-edge AI technology, and on the basis of what he's seen, AI is "the scariest problem."

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma too has sounded the alarm bell for the coming of the era of machines. He has said that in 30 years, the world's best CEO will be a robot. The maverick entrepreneur, who is worth £22.8 billion ($28.4 billion), said advances in technology would render CEOs irrelevant in the next 30 years. According to a survey, around two out of three British people are of the opinion that an "android takeover" in the future is a "genuine concern."

Automation and artificial intelligence taking away jobs

Tech giant Microsoft is planning thousands of layoffs due to focus on cloud computing and automation. In India, Infosys, India’s second largest IT major, has said that over 11,000 jobs have been dumped due to automation. This is not all. TCS, Wipro, Cognizant and other Indian IT companies are doing layoffs in thousands. IBM India is reportedly going to carry out layoffs of a few thousand employees from the Indian unit. Wipro, India’s third largest software services company, is sacking 600 employees. Cognizant, the Nasdaq-listed IT major, fired at least 1,000 senior managers. According to a top HR firm, 5–6 lakh engineers are set to lose jobs in the next three years, that is, between 1.75 and 2 lakh per year for the next three years.

"Contrary to media reports of 56,000 IT professionals to lose jobs this year, the actual job cuts will be between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh per year in next three years, due to under- preparedness in adapting to newer technologies," Head Hunters India Founder-Chairman and MD K Lakshmikanth has said, while analyzing a report by McKinsey & Company at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum on February 17.

Will CEOs become extinct, according to Alibaba’s Jack Ma? Will robots take over?

Will modern technology leave hundreds of thousands of human beings without a proper occupation? This could very well happen as machines are getting increasingly smarter and taking competition to a whole new level. Machines and robots are learning fast and deciphering patterns through sophisticated algorithms and mathematical models. Machines, together with big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning could outdo human beings in several areas. Human beings will be no match for the advanced machines.

However, these are still early days. Let's wait and watch the reshaping of the world order or as Jack Ma predicts: "In the next three decades, the world will experience far more pain than happiness." Musk says that AI calls for precautionary, proactive government intervention: "I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it's too late."

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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