The Industrial Revolution we are witnessing right now – the 4th on record – is one that engenders as much thrill as it does fear. Change has a way of doing that, but in this case the speed at which Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, 3D printing, Automation, Blockchain, Supercomputing and other mind-blowing inventions are overtaking our lives is beyond believable.
The burning question that bears asking right now is how the Industrial Revolution 4.0 will transform jobs of the future and how our educational system can help ensure that human skills do not turn redundant in the new economy.
In India, we have a multi-billion-dollar computing industry. Some estimates suggest that nearly 40% of jobs are at risk from automation. This figure may be debatable, but there’s no denying the fact that our educational system today needs to step up, and step up quick,to the fast evolving needs of Industry 4.0 if humans are to peacefully co-exist with machines.
The role of our policy makers and stakeholders in guarding our jobs and the future of the economy cannot be underestimated.As encouraging as it may be to see various state government’s enthusiasm in promoting industrial investment for Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, it would be just as heartening to see them committed to investing as much if not more in education, training and R&D.
The effort we put into creating a new, relevant and robust educational system today will make all the difference to where we find ourselves tomorrow, in relation to machines.