Machines Will Replace Humans And Jobs Will Be Lost – WAT Wednesdays

Welcome to yet another week of WAT Wednesdays!

To view and to comment on previous week’s topics, please click here.

This week’s topic is one statement:

‘Machines Will Replace Humans And Jobs Will Be Lost’ 

Write an essay on it and let us help you get better at it.

This is how it will work:

1) Users can post their essays in the comments section below by logging in through their www.insideiim.com User id.

2) You can write your essay on the topic for the entire week. You can even challenge your friends and make it more interesting!

3) The thread will be moderated by Team InsideIIM to ensure the discussion is kept relevant and is not abusive.

4) On Saturday, experts and industry professionals at InsideIIM (all ex-IIM, XLRI, MICA only) will rate each essay on the thread on the scale of 10 with some guidance.

This exercise may not replace the practice that you may need daily to master WAT but it will definitely help you to shape your line of thought. We will ensure that if you go through these next few weeks with us on this thread you will markedly improve your content. Hopefully, there will be more substance when you actually write an essay/WAT after going through this exercise.

Team InsideIIM

We are the team behind your favourite platform.

Comments

17 comments

Subhadeep Chakraborty

Machines are the ultimate creation of human beings, that changed completely changed the world. They are all around us today, serving us all the time. It all started with the wheel in the prehistoric age, when the invention of the simple wheel, that changed the way people moved. Then came the Industrial Revolution in 1760 which transformed the entire landscape of western civilization. Finally, we are in the digital era, where the boundary between man and machine is gradually shrinking. Everyone in any corner of the world is connected today via smartphone or any device. Machines are getting smarter as new algorithms for self-learning are invented. New technologies like IoT, machine learning, big data etc are coming into existence. But with this, a new debate has started: “Will machines gradually replace human workforce?”
There are two ways of looking at it, positive and negative. First outlook dictates that as machines get smarter, they open up new avenues for innovation and new jobs for people. An automated machine will be able to perform repetitive tasks thus freeing human to pursue other important tasks. A similar case happened during Industrialization when there was a transient dip in employment. But reskilling people for the new jobs will prepare them to operate at the new job positions.
The other outlook is that as machines get automated, they reduce the need the need for manual control. Also, they seem to drive up the efficiency, productivity, and accuracy with which tasks are performed. Naturally big organizations are turning towards automation to run their business processes. The IT industry is affected by it the most, where automation lowers the cost significantly. HfS, a US-based research firm, predicts automation will shave off 6.4 lakh jobs in India’s IT services in the next five years.
Finally, it can be said that though automation may reduce the need for manual labor, it also creates new job openings. Right now, low-level jobs are being replaced by automation. Proper re-skilling in these new technologies will definitely help people cope up with this new wave.

Team Insideiim

@Subhadeep – A well written essay which starts with a good introduction to set context and ends with a logical conclusion. Not too many flaws to point out. If you can write like this on other topics you are sure to ace the WAT. 8.5/10

Rishi Srivastava

@subhadeep- Tell me about the thought process you have before writing this essay. I mean the way you articulated is so crisp and has linear flow of thoughts. Did you search about the topic before writing?

Akhil Agarwal

Well I don’t think machine will replace the Humans and jobs.As Humans have the capability to think and react whereas machine only does some predefined work. The input which we gave was the only thing which machine will process so it is baseless to say that machine can replace humans.Although we have seen that machine reduces the redundancy all the repeated work can be given to machines.So in this way machines are making us more efficient as human can now focus on more efficient and innovative task. Currently Artifical Intelligence and Data Science are in boom.Concepts like Google Cars are making their mark in the market but they cannot remove us because We possess the power of compassion and decision making which machines can never get

Team Insideiim

@Akhil – You make some interesting points. The point on compassion is well taken. However, this is too short for a WAT and it isn’t comprehensive enough in analysis. Not sure machines are incapable of ‘decision-making’. Also, you need to work on your grammar.5.5/10

Keshav Gupta

As the topic is “Machine will replace humans and job will be lost”. Let’s analyze the situation from different perspective and how would it affect the different sectors and then come to a conclusion.
Industrial revolution is marked by the involment of machines like steam engine, transducer, etc that have created a boom in the industrial sector and played a major role in skyrocketting of the economy. An industry works on a principle of profit maximization and history has proved that machines and tools always lead to profit. Looking from the eyes of company owner, they are the one who will always in favour of automation that helps the economy to grow.
However, the other side depicts a totally different picture. If we talk about India,more than half of its population will suffer from automation. As we are labour intensive country, we can’nt afford such huge unemployment rate. Both are society and economy will collapse in a movement. Think of family where only the father is a sole bread-earner, loosing his job will in turn affect his family and the future of his children. A major effect will be in the increase of crime rates.Moreover, we posses the power of analysis and decision making which machines can never get.
So in order to maintain a balance on both side, banning of automation will be an extreame step. However semi automation will be the best possible solution i find which not only help indutries to increase its production but also led the involvement of people of society. Hence a win- win sutuation for both parties.

Team Insideiim

@Keshav – Good point on impact on India and its labour force. However, articulation is not up to the mark. There are too many errors. 5/10

Nitin Pillai

With the rise of automation technologies like machine learning, machines play an increasingly important role in everyday life and their potential effect in the workplace has become a major point of discussion and debate.

Machines have been undoubtedly replacing human workers from many years, and this trend has only been accelerating in the recent years. For example, sawmills have replaced the laborers in the past, and self-driving cars are becoming a reality today. Machines were always better at repetitive tasks than humans, and are now slowly becoming more capable of handling complex tasks.

Today, machines have undoubtedly affected every job to a greater or a lesser degree. And as technology advances, the number of people employed will continually decrease as machines will start replacing them. According to a survey by McKinsey, almost 30% of all jobs can be automated with technologies that are available today. But does this mean machines will replace humans “completely” in the near future?

Even though machines are undoubtedly less error prone and more efficient than human beings in seemingly simpler and repetitive tasks, jobs that require higher thinking skills and complex decisions are not at risk at being replaced by our metallic creations . Machines cannot match humans in higher order thinking skills and decision making, and unlike humans, are devoid of emotion. With machines handling the “lesser” aspects of our work, we can continue to utilize this spare time for leisure or more productive tasks requiring complex thinking, thus giving us thousands of more options and opening doors that we didn’t even know existed.

As of whether machines will completely replace humans in the distant future, nothing can be said as of now. In other words, there is plenty to figure out on how technology is reshaping the economy without looking to the far distant future. Machines have always been there with us; helping us with our work and taking our place at simpler tasks with more efficiency, and will continue to do so in the future.

Team Insideiim

@Nitin – Well done. Nicely constructed and well articulated essay. Good point on ‘machines being devoid of emotion’. It would have helped if you had given more examples of machines taking over jobs and the impact they have. An example of a potential machine induced disaster would have made the essay terrific to read. 8/10

Naina Raturi

We are in an exciting age. Would you have ever thought that you could read a newspaper while you are driving a car, simply because the car is driving on its own? But thanks to technological advancements the answer to this question is no longer no.

Apart from self-driving cars, technology has evolved and bestowed upon humanity creations like voice recognition systems, movie recommendation systems, credit card fraud detection systems and so much more.

Machines, and on top of that, machines that can learn on their own, which basically is the foundation of artificial intelligence, has ushered us in a new era of innovation.

But some people are scared that their jobs will be lost to these machines. Some have made doomsday predictions of these machines overtaking humans and ultimately destroying humanity too. But I would like to address those concerns.

It is true that the current technology we have and that is being developed in research labs right now has the ability to automate processes and eliminate manual labour. McKinsey Global Institute published a report saying that half of the total jobs in the world will be replaced by 2055, plus or minus 20 years.

When the industrial revolution took place, millions of people who depended on traditional jobs moved over to mechanical labour in industries. And I foresee that happening with this new technological revolution too. Who knows, maybe coding will become the new blue-collar job!

Team Insideiim

@Naina – Great line to end the essay – ‘ Coding will become the new blue-collar job’. Nicely written essay and happy that you’ve given examples of VRS, Credit card fraud detection etc. technologies which are already in use but not noticed by people. 8/10

kunalg

Artificial Intelligence(AI) is the single greatest area which is helping civilization to exceed it’s capabilities beyond horizon.Today AI has become an integral part ofour lives.Right from the car that we drive to the smartphones that we use,it’s the AI that is responsible for it.With the advent in AI, the one thing we fear is that how soon before machines take over humans and their jobs?
Today big MNC’s like Google and Tesla are testing driverless cars on the roads of California.Very soon drivers will be out of their jobs as more driverless cars roll out on the streets.This is just one example of machines taking over jobs of humans.In Japan and China robots have already made their way inplace of maid and servants.Back in 70’s there were thousand of workers in Ford’s manufacturing plant.Most of these manual jobs have been replaced by robots as they give much more efficiency.OpenAI is the single biggest AI community were people can putforth their ideas to help AI advance.Work is being going on to give machine the consciousness and ability to rewrite it’s code and improve itself known as singularity.Likes of Elon Musk have already warned the AI community to tread carefully in this direction.40 years back we had a ping and 2 ball game. Today due to AI ,it’s difficult to distinguish between reality and virtual reality.If the same rate of advancement in AI goes on,then there will be many few jobs that will be left out for humans to do.Unemployment will rise to alarming levels.
I feel it’s upto the humans to go further in such a way in this area of AI that it must help humans make a better place and not take over them and their jobs or our future will look bleak as in the famous science fiction flick ‘Terminator’.

Team Insideiim

@Kunal – Although it is a well articulated piece a lot of the essay is just stating facts and reporting happenings. We need to know your analysis and point of view about the same. Your prediction (the allusion to Terminator) is sudden and abrupt. You can do better. 7/10

Sukesh Kumar Thogaru

With rise in demand from end users/ customers, there is a need for larger volumes of production in short time. This purpose can be served by automating the process using machines, which are ultimate creation of human being. I feel, that when machines replace humans in a particular field there would be significant reduction in need for human resource but they would start working in creation & maintenance of the same.

We need to understand the fact that, not every sector is feasible for replacing humans with machines. Only those fields/sectors where there is less need of cognitive skills and involves more of physical work, machines would be ultimate choice.

Any organization planning to replace humans with machines would need a lot of initial or one time investment. Which, not many organizations can afford for. Apart from the initial investments, they will also have to invest on their maintenance, backup and mitigation plans. Then we would witness rise of new service industry, which provides all the maintenance related activities for machines. This service industry will be need human resource as they need cognitive skills of humans to analyze the condition of machines.
Just the way we witnessed IT outsourcing opting cheaper labor. Similarly if developed economies opt machines for humans, then skilled labor will move to developing or under developed economies in search of jobs which still depend on humans.

Finally, if jobs or lost, people will start working in service industries which will design, develop and maintain these machines or move out to other economies which cannot afford automation. For a moment if we consider this to be a mathematical world and all industries go for automation. Then this would result in a situation where industries will be forced to provide a certain percentage of reservation for human work force.

Team Insideiim

@SUKESH – The way this is written it is difficult to understand exactly what you want to say. It is coherent in parts but fails to make an impression as a whole. The point on reservation for humans was sudden and without context although very interesting. You need to practice more to make yourself understood better. This one seems a little complicated and clarity of thought and communication are a must in a WAT. 6.5/10

Sakshat Dadhich

We are living in the era of Fourth Industrial Revolution which is characterised by Artificial Intelligence. Since much of today’s development and also the future is attributed to digitization and technological advancements, it is right to say that there is no going back from this and hence automation has become one of the key driving element of growth worldwide.
Technology has been able to expand the functional and innovative capabilities of individuals. Organisational success are heavily dependent upon technological capabilities. At every point in our lives we are connected to automation, from self-driving cars to washing machines, from drones to vending machines. So we see that automation has become immensely popular as it reduces manual labour, increases productivity and hence reduces costs to an organisation specially those involved in mass production. As per the Mckeinsy Report, 30% of today’s operation can be fully automated. Electronic factories like Toshiba, Intel etc. automotive sectors like Ford, GM etc. and even commodity factories like that of Krafts, Adidas, Nike are 90% automated. Thus from an organisational standpoint, automation is the key to sustainability and growth.
Downside to automation is the workforce that it renders unemployable. Massive layoffs in industries pertaining to replacement of low to moderately skilled workers by robots and AI machines is threat to global employment scenario. It would lead to huge increase in poverty in countries like India and China where workforce and population are the largest. We need to assess the economical implications of technology individually for each country. Japan with its slow population growth and ageing demography has to invest in automation but same cannot be said about India which already has millions still below poverty line.
So we see that technology is both a boon and bane for the economy. On one hand it can improve lives and ensure a productive aura and on the other it can hamper the people of their incomes and livelihood. So Government across nations should carefully asses their economic and social scenarios and be a part of this technological growth while ensuring proper securities for their citizens. And for this to happen skill development initiatives must be employed.

Sakshat Dadhich

@TeamInsideIIM
I had posted my essay last week only but I don’t know why it got removed as I cannot find it now. I have reposted it now. Could you please review it?