Young generation threatened by ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’; Fears smart robots will easily take over in future

January 18
7:36 PM 2016

A recent international survey in the market revealed that millennials fear losing their jobs to artificial intelligence in the near future. Almost 4 out of 10 youngsters share this sentiment and feel the need to be better equipped to handle this situation.

A very grave complaint was brought to light by the young generation in the Western countries, when they said there was a huge gap in their education system given the rapid change in the technology world. According to The Times of India, this gap is more predominant in Europe as per the poll of 9000 16-25 year-olds in nine of the world's biggest countries, conducted by Infosys, a leading Indian software firm.

These nations included Australia, Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, the United States, and South Africa. Almost 80% of the response indicated a fresh approach is needed that will be at par with the current skills and technological standards. The society needs to break away from the conventional mindset that education ends after college.

Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka responded to these findings by stating, "Technologies have evolved far faster than what was thought possible even 10 years ago, while the educational system remains wedded to practices initially designed for agrarian societies 300 years ago. We must transition away from our past; shift the focus from learning what we already know to an education focused on exploring what hasn't happened yet," as represented by CXO Today.        

A London-based firm, ICM Unlimited, carried out this survey and, commissioned by Infosys, released the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' well ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland. The study accounts for almost 67% of the global workforce, covered by 15 economies. It mainly focuses on the seismic shifts in the markets due to disruptive digital technologies.

As per The Telegraph, the analysis reveals the loss of around 800,000 jobs over the past 15 years due to the rise of artificial intelligence. More than 200,000 personal assistants and almost 100,000 bank and post-office clerks have lost their jobs to smarter technology. The 'Future of jobs' report shows the biggest impact would be faced by healthcare, followed by energy and financial sectors.

Immediate steps to curb this displacement should be implemented, starting with a roll-out of right education and skills for the workforce. The education system needs to quicken its pace to match the fast-changing world of digital know-how, management strategies, troubleshooting methods, and creativity. Armed with these 'weapons', the millennials should feel more confident about themselves and be better prepared to take on the 'rise of smart robots'. 

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