The go on strikes… yet. The third force

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The writer
George Eliot cautioned us “Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most
gratuitous.” I’m going to ignore their caution and make a very specific
forecast in the world that we are innovating very rapidly, we are going to see
more things that are going to look like science fiction and fewer things that
are going to look like jobs. To be able to predict any change in future job
market we need to understand the forces acting on the current job market
because if there were no forces; tomorrows job market will be exactly as
today’ what is changing the trajectory of the markets?

The first
force is the globalization, because its rate of increase is becoming
exponential, it started with the trade agreements first then social agreements
by EU, and now we are getting closer to one currency and one language. The
second force is automation and robots. We can see the change very clearly in
our lives, for example an Indian car worker costs are expensive than a robot, plus
they don’t go on strikes… yet. The third force is artificial intelligence; the
AI itself is a force but also an enable, it makes the automation and robots lot
more effective. robots were available for the past 50 years but their growth
was linear, now with AI they are growing exponentially.

 Other micro forces are: shifting demographics,
access to information. This is affecting many industries and now we also have
decentralized work environment, 3d printing, nanotechnologies they are lot more
force at work but these are powerful enough to shape the future of labour

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Let us see
what drivers these forces, what fuels them. Because if you understand the
drivers you will understand the longevity and impact of these forces. If we
look at one of these forces, you will understand they all are fueled by one
thing, that is the need for profit maximization in broader terms capitalism.

 As long as we live in capitalism, humankind
will continue to progress until we are faced with an existential crisis. So the
transition will work this way. It will start with individual activities so the
jobs as a professional will not disappear as a whole. For example, If I want to
be an accountant I will have bookkeeping, financial accounting, management
accounting and reporting now with the effect of all these forces AI will do
bookkeeping reporting and financial accounting and I will be left to do only
management accounting. The profession will not be erased immediately but one
person will be able to do the work of thousand people because you are doing a
very small part of series of tasks that are automated. That’s how it will start.

These are
the places where jobs will be lost:

Insurance companies: – An insurance company from Japan
named Fukoku has replaced hundreds of its claim representatives with IBM’s

Retail and service industry: – A service sector has predictable
physical activities which most of them will be replaced. Transportation: – This is inevitable and will be the first one to
go away, I don’t think we will be in a situation of no drivers but very few

Military: – the military will most likely
peruse some form of automation that will reduce the logistic cost and remove
solders from combat deployment.

Construction and manufacturing: – many labour jobs are definitely lost. Accounting the data entry
component of bookkeeping is already eliminated by automation soon the
management accounting will also be eliminated by AI.

– started with ATM’s, PayPal, Blockchain technology and AI is doing most of
the trading as well. Farmers are already being replaced by Ai that can almost
do everything from seeding to pulling the lettuce out. It is already existing
technology and only be enhanced in the future.

Arts and entertainment: – many believe that human creativity
cannot be matched by Ai I have a different opinion it’s just the matter of
testing. AI can run billions of tests and revise until it gets the perfect
liking score from the humans.

 Science: – humans cannot analyse big data points beyond a certain
level there are like entire branches of science that like climate modelling
genomics which wouldn’t exist without powerful microprocessors and automation.

IT-hardware: – I think it will be one of the last
jobs to be lost in future in tradition to Ai and automation led economy and
society we will need millions and millions of hardware engineers designing and
building their own robots and infrastructure that Ai can use. The hardware
engineering site of it will rise again they have been forgotten for quite a
long time. In future there will be so many jobs created to build the
infrastructure for AI to have its own infrastructure building capabilities
which will wipe out the remaining jobs. All jobs will be lost there is nothing
that you can do that Ai with the right hardware that itself develops cannot do
and its almost 15-20 years down the line and most of us will be alive to see

Its bad news for us because it is tough to offer your labour to
an economy that’s full of machines and we see it very clearly in the
statistics. Over the past couple decades, the returns to capital in other words
corporate profits are going up and we see that they are now all time high. If
we look at returns to labour in other words total wages paid out in the economy,
they are at all-time low and heading downwards very fast it is bad news for public
but good news for corporates. But it’s actually not if you want to sell
somewhat expensive goods to the people You really want a large stable
prosperous middle class but the middle class is currently under a huge threat
and we are in danger of getting trapped in some vicious cycle where inequality
and polarisation will continue to go up over time the societal challenges that
come along with that deserves some attention

Before I
talk about how I can potentially safeguard myself I want to talk about how
confident I am of this prediction. Humans grow linearly but technology grows
exponentially this is the law of accelerating returns so the fundamental
measure of information technology follows an exponential trajectory also a deep
note here these are not necessarily my predictions, no single person can claim
a single prediction various reports have already outlined. If your industry has
not yet been automated doesn’t necessarily mean you are fine that’s why I
started writing about the forces so we will have this negative outcome as long
as these forces exist and these forces will continue to exist as long as we
have the driver of profit maximisation and we will continue to have the driver
of profit maximisation as long as we live in capitalism. And we will continue
to live in capitalism as long as we value human progress. Because the free
markets are the natural state of the trade so unless our need for human
progress disappears we will end up with the doomsday scenario. this definitely
sounds counterintuitive 


Being an MBA student I have realised
people don’t have MBA degree to learn anymore the MBA providers they have
created different USP’s to stay competitive. Clearly, the skill- set of managers will need to work with machines
in future will look different from today’s. But to what extent it will change is
unpredictable. Artificial intelligence, deep learning, and the overarching
analytics field are going to significantly change all facets of business Knowing
data science is an absolutely critical requirement. MBAs need not become
technologists, but they must have a basic understanding of how AI and robotics
work. The potential future jobs which will be created by Ai and automation that
will be difficult to explain now just as it was difficult to explain a job of
web designer 25 years, the only way to augment myself is by becoming a
constant learner, acquiring new skills required for the job and carving out
some time for absorbing new information and deliberate learning. According to
Alvin Toffler “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn unlearn and relearn”.
This analysis proves that to be relevant.

 Not everyone is a college educated and it’s hard for them to
acquire new skills. Let’s take an example of two stereotypical workers the
first one is  a professional, creative
type engineer or a doctor, let’s call him Joe he’s at the top of his country’s
middle class his counterpart is not college educated and works as a labourer
works as a clerk low level white collar and blue collar work in the economy let’s
call him john. If you go back about 50 years both Joe and John were leading
similar life, they were both likely were able to have full time jobs working at
least 40 hrs a week. As we started to progressively inject technology
automation and digital stuff in the economy the fortunes of Joe and John diverged
a lot over the time Joe was able to keep a full time job John hasn’t over time Joe’s
marriage has stayed quite happy, John’s hasn’t and Joe’s kids have grown up
into two parent home John’s have not over time 
and he started to go to prison a lot more so I cannot show you a happy
story in these social trends and they don’t show any signs of reversing
themselves, they are also true no matter which ethnic group or demographic
group we look at and they are actually getting very severe and most people
think is they are Joe’s they are living this amazingly busy productive life and
they’ve got  all the benefits  to show from that  John is leading a very different life. They
both are the proof of how right Voltaire was “work saves a man from three great
evils: boredom vice and need”. With these challenges what do we do? without
them the economic playbook is surprisingly clear and surprisingly straight
forward and in the short term especially robots are not going to take all of
our jobs in the next year or two so the classic economics book 101 is going to
work just fine encourage entrepreneurship double down on infrastructure and
make sure we are turning our people from our educational  system 
with appropriate skills but for a longer term, if we are moving into an
economy that is heavy on technology and light on labour, we have to consider
some more radical interventions something like guaranteed minimum income. This
will make a lot of people very uncomfortable because that idea is associated
with the extreme left wing and with fairly radical schemes free distributing

The idea of
the  guaranteed minimum income has been
championed by socialists like FEDRIK KIAH, RIHARD NICKSON and Milton freedman
and if you find yourself worried that something like a guaranteed income is
going to stifle our drive to succeed and make us kind of complacent you might
be interested to know that social mobility one of the things that we really
pride ourselves on is now lower than it is in the northern European countries
that have these very generous social the economic playbook is pretty
straight forward the societal one is a lot more challenging. I don’t know what
the playbook is for getting John to get engaged and stay engaged throughout
life. I do know is the education is the huge part of it I witnessed this
first-hand I was a nursery  kid for the
first few years of my education and what that education taught me is that the
world is an interesting place and my job is to go explore it my school stopped
in 10th grade and then I had joined college it felt like I had been
sent to the gulag, with the benefit of hindsight I know that the job was to
prepare me for the life as a clerk or as a labourer but at the time it felt
like the job was to bore me into submission with what was going around me we
have to do better than this we cannot have turning out Johns . so we see some
green shoots the things getting better we see technology deeply impacting the
education and engaging people from our younger learners up to a oldest ones we
see very prominent business voices telling us we need to rethink some of the things
we are holding to dear for a while and we see various sustained and data driven
efforts to understand and intervene some of the most troubled communities we have.
So the green shoots are out there and I don’t want to pretend for a minute that
what we have is going to be enough. we are going to face a very tough challenge
to give just one example unemployment in India is projected to increase from 17.7 million 2017 to 18 million in 2018 and we are not going to fix things
for them by sending back them to primary schools and my biggest worry is that
creating a world that we are going to have glittering technologies embedded in
kind of a shabby society and supported by an economy that generates inequality
instead of opportunity. But I don’t think that’s what we are going to do but we
are going to do something a lot more 
better for one very straight forward reason the facts are getting out
there the realities of this new machine age and the change in the economy are
becoming more widely known if we want to accelerate the process then we could
do things have our best economists and policy makers play jeopardy against
Watson we could send our parliament members on an autonomous car road trips and
if we do enough of these kind of things the awareness is going to sink in the
things are going to be different and then we are off to the races because I
don’t believe for a second that we have forgotten to solve tough challenges or
that we have become to apathetic or hard-hearted to even try Nehru once said if
we are to bring the broad masses of the people of every land to the table of
abundance it can only be by the tireless improvement of all our means of
technical production Ghandi realised that there is one other ingredient he said
I am a firm believer in people if given the truth they can be dependent upon
meet any national crisis



Categories: Accounting


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