ARE WE READY TO COMBAT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AUTOMATION IN THE FUTURE WORKPLACE?

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Robotics, automation and artificial intelligence are the big things! The ecosystem, industry, workplace or even how we live would be altered forever ! Just lately China news agency introduced the first AI news anchor and he did a great job at it! That is the future ! It’s is here , many futuristic looking hotels are deploying AI in the area if receptionist and companies are deploying AI , automation in the area if customer centre .

Where does this live humans , just as it is with all the industrial revolution, people would loose their source of living and while many would gain new jobs. That is the truth and as we face the current realities , it isn’t about the question of do we deploy or not ? We must definitely deploy, technology has a way of catching up and infecting our lives, just like a bug. It has a way of influencing our lives , just like a pretty woman that is very wanted and has a way of making us lazy. Can you remember the last time you went to the MTN, Airtel or any of the mobile network to buy a recharge card? As for me , the last time I did that was like 4 years ago! I am too lazy to start scratching card cards and typing the PIN! we just use our bank account to recharge our phones our DStv , pay bills and even do wire transfer. Do you know the impact? The young lady that is selling the card at the street corner is loosing market share! The young man that is selling DStv on a commission is loosing money and the Fintech firms would see an opening and grow. So technology would make you loose job and the same time create one for you. It can be likened to a beautiful lady that has a great shape but back character.

Today, bankers are getting few, a walk into the bank, you would be disturbed , harangued and harassed to use their mobile application or USSD of you don’t have a smart card. We are forced to use it some of us that are conservatives, we have no choice than to be psudo- conservatives, unfortunately there is no room for ultra conservatives. Do you know what these banks do today, they have realised that the future if banking isn’t in the hands of bankers or being determined in the banking halls. The future of banking is in the hands of financial technology firms known as Fintech. These banks are doing a catch up gain because Fintechs are taking over and they would dominate in near future. But also, these banks have an eye on the profit, who wants to deal with a worker that would either go to strike, get sick, get tired and demand for leave! So the best bet is to reduce human workforce and deploy technology. Banks are deploying AI ATM machines around, these machine are smart, they accept deposit, do credit , do debit, do transfer maybe very soon, would do cheque clearing…if a bank have all these in a branch, the need of humans would be reduced to about eighty percent, human interaction would be limited. By the way, we are getting used to machine and human interaction than human to human. Our kids play computer games , and when they are internal, their dating is online and when they are learning it’s electronic learning so the issue of getting used to machine doesn’t arise here. Millennials are used to it and we the older folks are getting used to it in a weird way. It reminds me of the movie, demolition man! Technology would also create jobs because the ATM installers, programmers, money loaders and managers would be created, my brother is an ATM consultant with a bank in the country. The technology created job for him but UST like other industrial evolution many jobs would be lost.

Unfortunately, our educational sector isn’t seeing the new narratives, the lecturers of the Nigerian Universities are either busy selling handouts which 19th century theories are propounded and opined or thinking of when to strike again. These hints keep ASUU busy and the students less competitive, there is low Research and Development and more of entertainment. This is the narrative of the country. As it came during the steam revolution where steams are used to power engines , we as a people and a country weren’t there , then came the coal era, we played in the turf, though in a newbie way. Towns like Enugu popped up from nowhere, Port Harcourt popped up from nowhere but did the coal make much impact? Then the oil and gas came , till date Nigeria isn’t refining nor adding value but consuming there by losing the technology know-how and countries are tilting to green energies , cars consuming less fuel and the prices of crude dropping like hot potatoes ! How would the country play in future? Do we look at oil as a way out? Do we look at Sciences , Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a way out? Do we dance “shaku shaku” as the politicians do and think it’s a way out? What sustainable thing do we do and how do we intend to play in future. Countries like India, Kenya and many more are keying into the future. As of today, the biggest, richest and the firms that pay highest today aren’t the oil and gas or even the agriculture but the technology firms. People brag that they are working in Google. When Google comes to town, everybody is happy! When Shell or Chevron goes to town , many are sad ! If you doubt as the environmentalist and green enthusiastic one. So the big question is , do we play at the side lines of the future or do we be a stakeholder?

ANTHONY EMEKA NWOSU

 

 

 

 

The future of banking is in the hands of financial technology firms known as Fintech. These banks are doing a catch up gain because Fintechs are taking over and they would dominate in near future. But also, these banks have an eye on he profit, who wants to deal with a worker that would either go to strike, get sick, get tired and demand for leave!

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