Is generative AI the villain responsible for the recent spate of layoffs? A complex question indeed. On one hand, there is no doubt that the rise of generative AI has led to significant changes in the job market and has resulted in some workers being displaced from their jobs. On the other hand, it is also true that generative AI has the potential to create new jobs and make existing jobs more efficient and productive.
Ramesh Shankar, chief joy officer, Hrishti.com, shares his own past experience and how he has worked through the evolution of technology and says it is important to acknowledge that technology has been changing the workforce for decades, if not centuries. From the mechanisation of factories to the introduction of computers and the internet, businesses have been using technology to automate tasks, increase efficiency and improve productivity.
He says, “The rise of generative AI has undoubtedly played a significant role in the evolution of the job market, particularly in industries such as manufacturing and customer service.”
He further adds, “While technological progress has brought about many benefits, it has also resulted in job losses, particularly in industries that rely heavily on manual labour or repetitive tasks. This trend has led to concerns about the impact of automation on the economy and the future of work.”
“The rise of generative AI has undoubtedly played a significant role in the evolution of the job market, particularly in industries such as manufacturing and customer service.”
Ramesh Shankar, senior HR professional, chief joy officer, Hrishti.com
But he also agrees that it is important to recognise that companies have been using forecasting and predictive analytics for some time to anticipate future trends and adapt accordingly. Businesses that have been successful in the long run have been able to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to new technologies and market demands.
Impact on job market
It is no secret that AI technologies, including generative AI, are increasingly being used to automate tasks that were previously performed by humans. This has led to some layoffs, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, where robots and other AI-powered machines have replaced human workers.
Ravi Mishra, SVP-HR, advanced materials business, Aditya Birla Group, observes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought in new challenges, including the need for faster delivery and remote work.
“These changes have forced companies to adapt quickly to new technologies and find new ways to remain competitive,” explains Mishra.
“It is essential to adapt to these changes and not solely blame new technologies for job losses. While generative AI and machine learning may have accelerated these changes, progress has been happening for a while.”
Ravi Mishra, SVP-HR, advanced materials business, Aditya Birla Group
It is also important to note that generative AI has the potential to create new jobs in fields such as data science, machine learning and AI development. As companies continue to adopt AI technologies, there will be a growing need for skilled professionals who can design, implement and maintain these systems.
Another important factor to consider is the role that government policy can play in mitigating the negative impact of generative AI on employment. For instance, governments can provide funding for reskilling and upskilling programmes to help workers adapt to the changing job market.
Villain or saviour?
Ultimately, the question of whether generative AI is a villain or a saviour depends on how it is implemented and used. If companies focus solely on automating jobs to cut costs, without taking into account the potential impact on their employees, then generative AI could indeed be seen as a villain. However, if companies use AI technologies in a responsible and ethical manner, while also investing in their workforce and creating new job opportunities, then generative AI could be a valuable tool for increasing productivity and driving economic growth.
According to A Thiru, C-suite HR professional, generative AI is a technological breakthrough that is transforming various industries and creating new opportunities for businesses.
“Embracing generative AI can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, as well as the creation of new job roles that require specialised skills in data analysis and programming.”
A Thiru, C-suite HR professional
He, however, agrees that this technological revolution has also brought about concerns regarding job displacement and loss of employment.
“While some companies may use the implementation of AI as an excuse to lay off employees. However employees who are willing to learn new ways of working and embrace Generative AI will be at the forefront of driving progress. Ultimately, employers’ loyalty towards their employees will determine their success,” asserts Thiru.
He also points out that embracing generative AI can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, as well as the creation of new job roles that require specialised skills in data analysis and programming. Therefore, it is important for companies to foster a culture of innovation and learning, and for individuals to stay open minded and willing to acquire new skills to remain competitive in the rapidly-evolving job market.
Mishra rightly states, “It is essential to adapt to these changes and not solely blame new technologies for job losses. While generative AI and machine learning may have accelerated these changes, progress has been happening for a while. It is crucial for individuals and governments to be aware of the impact of technology and the changing digital landscape and take steps to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.”
The impact of generative AI on the job market is a complex issue. Therefore, its adoption requires careful consideration and planning. To ensure that the benefits of generative AI are maximised while minimising the negative impact on workers, it is important for companies and governments to work together to develop responsible and ethical AI policies and practices.
Value our content... contribute towards our growth. Even a small contribution a month would be of great help for us.
Since five years, we have been serving the industry through daily news and stories. Our content is free for all and we plan to keep it that way.
Support HRKatha. Pay Here (All it takes is a minute)