Artificial Intelligence driven automation and persisting unemployment

AI or Artificial Intelligence as a term is basically used to define tasks which are performed by machine with lack of human intervention.[1]

  1. Previously

Two camps exist regarding AI’s potential to affect the employment market or basically create unemployment. The first states that when there is growth in technology, it immediately leads to a decrease in the job market, however such a destruction is temporary in nature. Owing to the nature of capitalism, new jobs are eventually created, thereby creating a balance with no increment or reduction of jobs. This leads to a change of job towards better job possibilities. The second camp is put forth by Keynes. According to him, the market cannot be static when technological advancement takes place. As dependency on automated products are increasing, he argues that there would be an eventual loss of jobs permanently.[2]

Previously, most data and evidence supported the first ideology. However, with the latest progress in technology, the validity of the second ideology is getting solidified. 

  1. Currently

Numerous factors have now comes into the picture, which could lead to a permanent loss of jobs owing to technological advancement. Firstly, demand has generally remained elastic owing to capitalism. However, increase in automation may hinder this process, leading to a reduction in the elasticity of demand. This would in-turn decrease the production, and consequently there would be no prospect of new employment after destruction of the previous jobs.[3]

Secondly, there is a presumption on the basis of which the first camp succeeded and gained support i.e., people who initially lose their job would be willing to switch to a new job once the prospect of the same is presented before them. However, several reasons could make this switch difficult, namely, lack of training, money etc. Especially the old people who may be unable to keep up with the change and the requisite skillset.[4]

Thirdly, replacement of the old job with a new on takes some time. Owing to rapid technological growth, such replacement may not be possible at the same rate, leaving numerous people unemployed.[5]

  1. Solutions

Now, the solution to the same can be found in the fundamentals of economics. Growing the economy would eventually lead to a growth in the job market as well as employment prospects. If companies are presented with the opportunity to grow, most of them would try to do so if the same does not become impossible. 

To attain growth in the economy, it becomes pertinent to bring education into the frame. When education and technology do not go hand in hand, massive inequality can be created leading to loss of jobs. Therefore, educating more people would be beneficial to ensure that their capabilities, knowledge and skillset are at par with the need of the growing technological world. Evidence shows that correlation exists between better test scores, improved education and economic growth.

Improvement in the education system needs executive involvement. More investment in primary schooling can be done. Rather than having numerous seats reserved for kids of the backward classes at the university level, it is important to start this process at a grassroot level. Implementing policies to ensure that kids from all backgrounds have access to education must be ensured. Education must be promoted through ways such as mid-day meals etc. Teachers at public schools can be provide with certain facilities so as to ensure their genuine involvement in helping children growth and learn. 


[1] Kokane, Sonali. “The Intellectual Property Rights of Artificial Intelligence-Based Inventions.” Journal of Scientific Research, vol. 65, no. 02, 2021, pp. 116–119., https://doi.org/10.37398/jsr.2021.650223. 

[2] Brynjolfsson E and McAfee A, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (Langara College 2018).

[3] Ibid.

[4] [4] Ibid.

[5] [5] Ibid.

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