Letter to BS: A machine can solve a cognitive problem to an extent

Ajay Shah’s column “AI revolution and jobs in India” (June 25) does well to allay the fears in Indian minds about the impact of artificial intelligence on job creation. AI has its limitations. For one, AI is created by a human mind and its ability to perform accurately depends on the programme a person makes. If, for example, in hiring, a programme is designed in a way that it is biased against a certain community, the screening done by using AI will show the same bias. 

Robots are good only for repetitive jobs and a machine can solve a cognitive problem to an extent. But humans will be required in areas where display of soft skills — such as in counselling or negotiation —is crucial or where emotional issues are involved or when the problem is too complex such as at the top levels.

Thirdly, if AI will take away unskilled or repetitive jobs, it will create other jobs, albeit needing different or higher skills or in some other field. Thus, all machine learning requires training in data which will come from humans. When activities like recruitment and training were outsourced, there was an apprehension that the human resource department will collapse. But it has prospered using more sophisticated tools like human resource accounting or HR analytics. 

The challenge in India will be in figuring out whether our employees will be motivated and able to learn new jobs in quick time. 

YG Chouksey   Pune

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