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AI creating jobs, not stealing them

By Ayan Pramanik
September 09, 2017 12:45 IST
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'More than 900 companies believe that the majority of their employees worry about AI's role in potential job losses.'
'It makes employees anxious about working with machines or AI applications and fuels resistance to change,' says a Capgemini report.
Ayan Pramanik reports from Bengaluru.

Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

About 9 out of 10 Indian companies say artificial intelligence has created new jobs, according to a study report by IT services and consulting firm Capgemini.

Interestingly, 8 per cent of the 86 companies surveyed in the country said they witnessed job losses due to emergence of this new age technology.

The rest have seen job creation through implementation of AI.

 

In fact, the report mentioned that every 6 out of 10 Indian companies have been implementing AI in their operations.

Majority of the new job roles created across companies in India and the world are at the senior management level.

India has seen more than 20 per cent of such new roles in AI and digital technology being created at the very senior level (C-suite), unlike other countries, noted the report.

As much as 40 per cent of the job roles in AI are created at the managerial level in India across eight other nations.

AI has significantly improved operational efficiencies at companies across sectors such as banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, automotive, retail, insurance and utilities.

All the Indian companies surveyed said they expect AI to increase effectiveness at varied operational categories.

The study report highlighted how ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank, has used AI bots to enhance customer service delivery and enable employees to focus on better engagement with customers.

ICICI Bank, the Capgemini study noted, has deployed software robots in more than 200 business process functions across the organisation spread across functions such as retail banking operations, agri-business, trade and foreign exchange, treasury, and human resource management.

'The bank has implemented the platform mostly in-house, leveraging artificial intelligence techniques such as facial and voice recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, and bots, among others,' the report said.

'The bank's robot capabilities include chat bots that act as quasi-bankers, software bots that carry out remittances while helping customers with their loan choices, email bots that sort customer and distributor emails based on transaction status or similar criteria, thereby helping the bank slash response time,' the report pointed out.

Companies across nine countries including India said their key drivers for investment in AI are to increase customer satisfaction and deliver superior insights amongst other things.

There are concerns over increasing use of AI too.

'In our survey, 61 per cent of organisations (more than 900 companies) believe that the majority of their employees worry about AI's role in potential job losses. It makes employees anxious about working with machines or AI applications and fuels resistance to change -- another major hurdle in AI implementation,' noted the study report.

This can be dealt with by better communication and talking about the effectiveness of training in AI and other new-age technologies.

'We are running a training programme for employees from all BUs to learn Alexa programming skills. The primary objective is not to develop AI solutions, but we are trying to increase the level of confidence that our colleagues have with AI,'Michael Natusch, Global Head of AI at Prudential, was quoted saying in the Capgemini report.

'We hope to build an understanding of what those things can, and cannot do, as both of them are obviously equally important.'

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Ayan Pramanik in Bengaluru
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