Automation has everyone on the edge. According to a recent report by US-based research firm 'HfS Research', India's IT services industry, which employs around 3.7 million people, will lose 6.4 lakh jobs to automation in the next five years.
IT industry worldwide would see a net decrease of 9% in headcount, or about 1.4 million jobs. But that is just one part of the story. The wave of 'technological unemployment' will have a broader impact, say experts.
Here are 10 other sectors that could take an automation hit. Are you working for any?
With land, machinery, chemicals and seeds becoming expensive and technology providing cost-effective labour solutions, the days of the individual farmers are numbered. Experts predict a fully automated farm in the years to come, which may involve robots picking up crops and drones monitoring them. This rings an alarm bell as such high-tech farming, which means less jobs for farmers.
Tuition and coaching apps are fast replacing supplementary education requirements. As the internet allows students to be independent, the teacher's role is also diminishing to that of a facilitator. Further, with the rise in online courses and e--classes, the need to go to colleges for higher education may gradually slow down. This will in turn reduce the requirement of teachers and may also adversely impact their salaries.
In the years to come, automated journalism may give reporters who cover routine topics a hard time. Associated Press uses a natural language reporting platform 'Wordsmith' to publish over 3,000 financial reports every quarter. Print media has been facing staggering challenges for quite sometime now. With the coming up of digital media and the decreasing revenue from advertising, the need for news reporters is set to go down.
Even Wikipedia uses an internet bot 'Lsjbot' to write over 8% of its content.
Needless to say, factory workers will be the worst-hit. The trend of robots replacing workers is no more restricted to countries like Japan. It is accelerating across the globe in the field of manufacturing and production, taking away the livelihood of factory workers.
The application of automation to healthcare definitely has a lot of benefits, in terms of improved quality and efficiency, for the common people. However, health workers may be badly hit by the digitisation wave led by remote electronic health monitoring devices. This would result in fewer requirement for health care professionals.
A major portion of the work of a paralegal or a juinor lawyer involves performing research, preparing briefs, filing and drafting legal documents before trials. These days, we have softwares like 'Legal-Zoom' available, which can perform such tasks efficiently and, thus, pose a threat to jobs in the field.
Artificial intelligence is poised to impact jobs in the BPO sector, too. With artificial call centre agents like IPsoft's Amelia and VPI's Virtual Source, a major chunk of call centre employees can be easily replaced.
Self-service checkout technology is on the rise all over the world. McDonalds, in 2011, had ordered 7,000 automated cashiers to allow customers to order food themselves. Such self checkouts will only increase over the years. With this technology in place in stores and supermarkets, we will hardly have a need for cashiers.
Driverless cars could surely improve safety, but their impact on jobs will be huge. Driverless tech has been successfully demonstrated on public roads in countries like the US over the past few years. Such cars are being tested by companies such as Delphi, Google and Tesla. While a driverless car may seem like a marvelous option for those battling traffic or driving skills, it is bound to hit the jobs of drivers.
Quality Assurance teams
Companies across the globe in the future will look forward to automating their Quality Assurance processes so as to reduce the current high cost of quality due to the practice of manual testing. As soon as the firms deploy agile technology, the QA process will hardly take any time and will make QA engineers redundant.