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How to know if, and when, your job is being taken over by the bots

Source | Factor Daily

You can still find lift operators in some old buildings in India. He (it’s usually a him) opens the collapsible iron gates of the old-style cage lift to let you in and sits back on his rickety wooden stool as it begins its upward journey with a slight jerk. He opens the gates for you when you get off the contraption (often with a sigh of relief) and settles back down on his stool to continue ferrying passengers. You’re glad he’s there in case the lift gets stuck due to a power cut or a breakdown. Haven’t most of us gotten stuck some time in one of these lifts and would’ve panicked if it weren’t for the liftman?

Jobs do not disappear overnight. They offer many warnings. The signs are usually around for a while before a job goes kaput, and yet people are caught by surprise when they realise it no longer exists

The liftman’s job is under threat. Automation has made it redundant. Today’s swank elevators with their optimum lighting, smooth metal doors with sensors, destination control and rider flow mechanisms need no door-opening or closing. They’re simple enough for anyone to operate (heck, some of them don’t even have buttons) and smart enough to cluster passengers based on their destinations, cutting travel time by half. They’re also equipped with IOT-based safety mechanisms that send out real-time alerts about anything that needs attention.

Disruption: The sign of five

Mark my words, jobs do not disappear overnight. They offer many warnings. The signs are usually around for a while before a job goes kaput, and yet people are caught by surprise when they realise their job no longer exists.

Sometimes, it’s not just a particular type of job, but an entire industry that may be undergoing transformation. Take India’s hitherto ballooning IT industry for example. Hiring by top IT firms in India (HCL, Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahindra and Wipro) is projected to be down by 47% in 2017 compared to last year. This sector is no longer going to provide employment to millions.

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