Although automation can ideally liberate employees for higher-priority tasks, it is a double-edged sword. Undeniably, it can also provide employers with the means to reduce their workforce, leading to job losses for some individuals.
Business owners who are shrewdly seeking to enhance efficiency, mitigate the risk of human error, and reduce expenses are automating every possible operation. Moreover, they are striving to make their operations more agile, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, as it has become crucial for businesses to withstand natural disasters and changes in the workforce.
The emergence of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are paving the way for a fresh era of automation in the industrial sector. This trend towards mechanization is familiar, as it has occurred since the early 19th century when industry and machines began to dominate. This transformation was facilitated by introducing novel raw materials, notably iron, and steel, and the adoption of fresh energy sources like coal, steam engines, electricity, petroleum, and internal-combustion engines.
Now it is on the top universities of India to ensure that future engineers are capable enough to maneuver their way through the latest technologies that come their what as professionals. Keeping pace with the evolving world and making oneself relevant at all times is the art that institutes like Chitkara University teach their students. It trains students to develop into the individuals responsible for designing, engineering, enhancing, and constructing our ever-evolving world. Tomorrow’s pioneers, inventors, and visionaries will arise from today’s student body. Chitkara believes that educated and skilled engineers play a vital role in resolving various challenges confronting humanity, propelling the world economy, and enhancing all aspects of our existence. They conceptualize, specify, and meticulously document nearly everything in our surroundings.
The Benefits of Automation
The manufacturing industry benefits from automation, which offers improved maintenance, reduced costs, and enhanced safety. Automation tools and techniques are used by companies worldwide to streamline processes and increase productivity without human intervention. The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionised manufacturing process automation, allowing production data collection through sensors and IoT devices. This data is stored in the cloud and analysed to provide valuable insights. Although IoT has greatly facilitated automation in manufacturing, the business benefits of IoT-enabled automation remain unclear.
Risks of Automation
Based on predictive modeling, the Oxford study categorized 702 jobs according to their level of risk for automation by machines, including AI, machine learning, robotics, computers, and others. The study’s simple premise is that any job that can be automated will be taken over by machines, resulting in job losses for humans. The research found that 47% of the positions studied could be replaced by machines, with varying degrees of risk depending on whether a job is classified as high, medium, or low risk. Generally, routine jobs that lack creative or interpersonal demands are the most vulnerable to automation.
Jobs at Risk by Robotics
With the rapid advancement of technology, many jobs are expected to be disrupted. The Oxford University study has identified the sectors most at risk of automation: transportation and logistics, office and administration, production labor, service, sales, and construction. Other vulnerable industries include farming, fishing, forestry, installation, maintenance, and repair. Even some STEM careers are not exempt from the possibility of automation, particularly in areas involving hazardous materials.
According to the study, the top ten jobs most at risk of being automated by AI and robotics are telemarketers, title examiners, abstractors, and searchers, sewers (hand), mathematical technicians, insurance underwriters, watch repairers, cargo and freight agents, tax preparers, photographic process workers and processing machine operators, and new accounts clerks.
Top Universities in India have realized a significant shortage of human-centric skills. According to a study conducted by EY titled “Future of Jobs in India: A 2022 Perspective,” the IT/BPO, automotive, retail, textiles, apparel, banking, financial services, and insurance industries are all in need of cognitive abilities, content skills, social skills, complex problem-solving ability, and environmentally conscious thinking. This is the precise gap that educational institutions are striving to bridge.
Also Read: Will Engineering Jobs Be Automated?
How can institutes gear up to make engineers future-ready
The top engineering colleges in India must equip students with skills that will prepare them for the ever-evolving future. Considering the pace at which technology is growing, what students study on campus may be obsolete when they enter the industry. As AI and automation become more prevalent in mainstream industries, professionals are becoming increasingly concerned that the skills they have developed over the years will quickly become obsolete, leaving them without employment opportunities, especially in a context of economic slowdown and downsizing in specific sectors. This has led educational institutions to prepare for the need for new-age skills. Universities like Chitkara University constantly keep adding courses to the curriculum to keep pace with the industry requirements.
Themes to be optimistic about
Although technological advances may lead to job displacement in certain areas, historically, they have also created more jobs than they have eliminated. We will adapt to these changes by creating new types of work and utilizing uniquely human abilities. Technology will liberate us from tedious tasks and allow us to redefine our relationship with work positively and socially beneficially. Ultimately, as a society, we have control over our future through the choices we make.
Themes to be concerned about
Automation has primarily impacted blue-collar jobs, but the upcoming wave of innovation threatens to disrupt white-collar work. While some highly skilled workers may thrive in this new environment, others may be forced into lower-paying service jobs or even permanent unemployment. Our education system needs to adequately prepare us for the positions of the future, and our political and economic institutions must be equipped to handle difficult choices.
This article explores the benefits and risks of automation in the manufacturing industry, as well as the impact of robotics on various sectors and the potential for job displacement. It also discusses the need for educational institutions to prepare future engineers for the rapidly evolving technological landscape and the importance of developing human-centric skills. While there is optimism for the positive impact of technology on society, there are also concerns about job displacement and the need for society to make difficult choices to address these challenges.