‘It could hurt less-skilled staff’: How AI will affect the work of BPO and IT employees

AI and ML Jobs

The latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are expected to have a major impact on jobs across a wide range of professions and industries, especially in India’s IT, ITeS, BPO, and BPM industries. Together these sectors employ over 50,000,000 people, making him the largest source of white-collar employment in India.

Zoho CEO and co-founder Sridhar Vembu pointed out that advances in AI will have a negative impact on the IT and technical services sector. In a statement to the central government, Vembu, along with former Niti Aayog vice-president Rajiv Kumar and his iSPIRT Foundation co-founder Sharad Sharma, said that advances in AI could help countries with large populations like India. I emphasized how chaotic and devastating it can be for pretty young

Also read: Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu and others compare AI to nuclear weapons, cloning – BusinessToday

“In a very young country like India, with a median age of 29, it is clear that AI could put millions of jobs at risk almost overnight,” said Vembu. .

On that basis, experts and industry insiders believe that “low-skilled” service workers will be most impacted by AI advances. This includes call center workers, workers engaged in computer operators for data entry tasks, entry-level software engineers in IT and ITeS companies, entry-level software developers, entry-level BPO workers, etc.

Foundit (formerly Monster.com) CEO Sekhar Garisa told Business Today that AI will replace 7% of the low-skilled services workforce in the near term. .

“We anticipate that immersion in AI could hit less skilled professionals within the service sector in the future. We will see a decreasing phase of decline soon,” he noted.

Also read: Startup layoffs: Sequoia-backed Smallcase lays off 4% of employees – BusinessToday

Vardhman Jain, founder and vice chairman of Access Healthcare, a Chennai-based BPO, echoed these views, saying customer service would be hit hard in the early stages of AI integration in the workplace. rice field.

“Many of the services provided by the Indian BPO industry are in the areas of customer support (voice and chat), data entry, and back-office services. It can be confusing and automated,” Jain said.

Despite the imminent negative impact on the workforce, experts say AI integration into the workforce is economical, efficient, and productivity-enhancing and cannot be ignored.

Santhosh Nair, director and COO of CIEL HR, believes AI integration will be a more economical option for the company as it can achieve the same level of productivity with a smaller workforce.

Also read: Accenture cuts 19,000 jobs!Will India’s IT Sector See a Ripple Effect? ​​- Business Today

“AI in its current stage of development may not be able to completely eliminate human workers, but it can reduce the number of employees needed to perform the same task. For services, AI tools can handle a high volume of inquiries and provide assistance in multiple languages, freeing up human workers to focus on more complex tasks,” said Nair.

He further explained that economic efficiency is what makes AI important for enterprises. “It is important that companies track AI trends and integrate AI into their workforce where appropriate,” he said.

But regardless of the economic efficiencies AI brings to the workplace, experts believe true AI integration in the workplace is still a relatively distant reality due to the economic costs associated with it.

Also Read: IT and Technology Campus Adoption Slows 25% Amid Layoffs – BusinessToday

“The integration of AI in the workplace will depend on multiple factors, including its economics. Timelines are difficult to predict, but mainly due to the affordability of AI and the ability of service providers and customers to innovate. It depends on your willingness to invest,” Jain explains.

But does that mean we can sit still and not worry about AI taking our jobs? That doesn’t seem like an option.

On an individual level, experts say upskilling is the safest bet.

Also Read: Startup layoffs: Unacademy cuts 12% headcount – BusinessToday

Garisa of foundit, formerly of Moster.com, said: Our data shows that over the next five years, 40% of service sector employees will need to be reskilled, and 60% of them will need to be upskilled to meet the market. ”

At the collective level as a society, regulation and policy seem to matter. An open letter published by the Future of Life Institute calls on all AI labs worldwide to pause training AI systems stronger than GPT 4 for six months.

Additionally, experts such as Vembu are calling for rapid policy and regulatory intervention by governments around the world. In the long term, rapid changes in the education system are needed.

READ ALSO: Technician layoffs: GitHub India to lay off over 140 engineers, sources say – BusinessToday

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