‘AI will create job redundancies, but plenty of new roles too'

The panellists at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit 2024 emphasized that to ensure redundancies give birth to new employment opportunities, “upskilling and reskilling” of the present workforce will be crucial. (Photo: Mint)
The panellists at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit 2024 emphasized that to ensure redundancies give birth to new employment opportunities, “upskilling and reskilling” of the present workforce will be crucial. (Photo: Mint)


  • The risk of job redundancies due to the spread of AI is real and current, but the onus of preventing that and transforming its impact, has fallen on the leadership of companies. A group of top industry leaders discussed threadbare how to do that, at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit 2024

Mumbai: The rise of artificial intelligence in digital transformation will present more opportunities, and looking at the right kind of upskilling avenues will transform AI’s impact on job redundancies, concurred a panel of senior industry executives at Mint Digital Innovation Summit 2024 on Friday.

Speaking at the Summit, in a panel titled 'Macro View: What it means to become a Digital and AI leader’, Jayashree Satagopan, corporate president and chief financial officer of Coromandel International, said, “There will be job redundancies that will happen because of AI. But this is nothing new. We have seen old jobs become redundant and processes becoming dependent on machines during the Industrial Revolution. But that does not mean work will be taken away from us. With the right kind of upskilling, we will be able to find better jobs to pursue. New jobs will be created too."

Also read: Where there is AI, there is data, in every industry

Dilipkumar Khandelwal, chief executive officer of Deutsche India, and managing director and global chief information officer of corporate functions at Deutsche Bank, concurred. “There will be change, but different things will add value to human work. One needs to be adaptive themselves, and the level of jobs will be lifted," he added.

The upskilling mantra

Others, too, agreed that to ensure redundancies give birth to new employment opportunities, “upskilling and reskilling" of the present workforce will be crucial.

“Upskilling and cross-skilling is not a challenge, it’s a reality. The message is to not get lost in translation," said Sigal Atzmon, founder and chief executive officer of US-based healthcare firm Medix Global. “We have to implement these movements and ask ourselves how to get better at understanding AI," he added.

These industry experts further highlighted how they are leveraging AI and generative AI in their respective fields. Sajid Malik, chairman and managing director of geospatial services firm Genesys International, said, “By leveraging AI, we are helping governments plan urban cities, and plan to digitise India in one of the biggest urbanisation drives ever in our history. For the first time, huge information in spatial data is opening up various avenues. This is a huge leap forward."

AI: a versatile ally

Coromandel’s Satagopan cited examples of AI adoption across agriculture and manufacturing as key instances. “Precision farming is a good example—you take all the data on soil, nutrients, temperature and more, and give advice to farmers to improve yield. In manufacturing, logistics and supply chain productivity need to be improved on various aspects. The value capture through AI has to get quantified. All information should be available easily, both to end-users and management to enable decision-making," she said.

Also Read: AI is easy to describe, challenging to do: Cerebras Systems’ CEO Andrew Feldman

Deutsche’s Khandelwal offered three key focus areas that companies are looking at internally to measure the impact of AI. “One, AI can be used to simplify existing operations and increase efficiency. Two, we’re looking at new business models disrupting our existing ones. Three, our competitor may come from an entirely different industry, as many other companies outside of a field are innovating beyond their traditional industry of focus," he explained.

Leaders to the forefront

To leverage this successfully though, Satagopan underlined that companies’ leadership must take up the mantle. “The role will be for business heads to understand tech’s role and communicate (them). There’s also a lot of organised data today, which will need to be leveraged and could be very powerful. Today, what is being done by 50 people may one day be done by one person. We saw this in the Industrial Revolution, now AI is leading to it. But we must provide a congenial environment to make upskilling accessible," she said.

Medix’s Atzmon, on this note, added that a focus on promoting the privacy of data cannot be done away with. “Being ethical with data is crucial. Privacy is not a challenge; we wake up to it every morning . As we invest in human resources, we have to align with regulations across countries," she said.

Also read: The future of AI: Beyond language models to becoming real world decision makers

To ensure all of this works in tandem, inculcating learning as a key part of an organisation will be equally important, Khandelwal emphasized. “When we run large setups, factors of culture and learning are important. We want to make sure that everyone in the firm understands that the culture of learning needs to be very important," he added.

Through all of this, the top executives affirmed that AI is all set to have a transformative impact on work across industries. Each insight summed up a key factor of digital transformation and innovation being primarily about AI today—a factor that will likely define how technology spending across organisations in various industries will progress in the years to come.

Tech jobs will also likely progress accordingly—giving birth to what each executive defined as the next generation of work, in the coming years.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.