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Will AI wipe out human jobs?

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AI is continuing the progress of automation and technology and enhances productivity and possibilities like never before. Businesses will be able to do more with their existing resources, and maybe do more with fewer resources, a fact that puts human capital at risk.

Automation has been embraced by companies for many decades, but automation is not intelligence and there is no doubt that the addition of technologies by companies will allow organizations to rethink their usage of human capital for activities as wide-ranging as call center operations, warehouse activities, trucking and transportation, brick-and-mortar retail, and even mining, oil, and gas activities.

Many make the argument that job losses won’t be felt at the top or bottom of the pay scale, but rather in the middle. There will be less management by humans, and more management by machines and AI colleagues. Collectively these middle-income jobs employ a very large percentage of the population, so this will no doubt have an impact on jobs and the future shape of the workforce.

Most employment is in retail, professional services, healthcare, and government. Hence, it’s no surprise that AI may take a chunk of these jobs. In fact, a workforce adjustment is already being experienced in areas that require human-intensive labor moving paper or bits and bytes around from one place to another. These highly repetitive, regulatory intensive, and error-prone processes jobs are being replaced by computer systems.

The question must be asked though: why do humans move information around when a computer can do just as good a job, especially with the ability to understand the meaning and context of information? Furthermore, while we’re still in the very early days of autonomous vehicles, there’s no question that the future direction of the transportation, warehouse, and logistics industries is rapidly heading to an autonomous future. This calls into question jobs such as that of truck drivers, with autonomous driving trucks starting to emerge in parts of the world.

How can it create jobs?

If you went back in time 20 or 30 years and told someone that they would work as a social media marketer, they would have no idea what you were talking about. Likewise, if you go forward 20 to 30 years there will be whole sectors of the economy and major employers that are not even possible or known today.

Yesterday’s manufacturers are today’s programmers. Yesterday’s secretaries are today’s database administrators. Yesterday’s milkmen are today’s Uber drivers. Indeed, it’s not that those jobs have been created or destroyed, but rather entire job categories are gone and new ones have taken their place. What we’re looking atis not a culling of human capital intensive tasks, but a reimagining of skill sets that we need to be prepared for. Change is inevitable, so brace yourself for the next wave of work.

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Starlink Broadband could soon go live in India

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Starlink Broadband, the satellite-internet company committed to providing high-speed internet connectivity to areas that aren’t connected to wired or wireless internet, could soon go live in 10 rural areas of India. 

While posting on LinkedIn, Starlink Country Director India, Sanjay Bhargava, said that they have more than 5000 pre-orders from India, with a “stretch target of 2,00,000 terminals active in India in December 2022”, subject to government approval.

While expanding on the subject in a release note, the company said, “​​The government approval process is complex. So far there is no application pending with the government, so the ball is in our court to apply for consideration which we are working on. Our approach will be to get pilot approval quickly if pan India approval will take long. We are optimistic that we will get approval for a pilot program or pan India approval in the next few months”.

Starlink’s plans take flight

Elon Musk also said the company was in talks with airlines about deploying Starlink on board, with users promised low latency half gigabit internet if the plans go through. It was unclear which airlines were contacted or when the installation would take place.  

These aren’t the first rumblings about this plan, with SpaceX Vice President Jonathan Hofeller signing from the same hymn sheet back in June. Hofeller remarked that SpaceX has already done some demonstrations of the technology, and it is looking to finalize the product in the near future, saying that, “Starlink provides a global mesh (so that) airlines flying underneath that global mesh have connectivity anywhere they go. Passengers and customers want a great experience that (geosynchronous satellite internet) systems simply cannot provide”. 

So far, SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites, and the program currently has about 100,000 users in 14 countries, with plans to launch 12,000 satellites. 

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EVs: The Future of Human Mobility

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As Electric Vehicles (EV) are becoming increasingly popular every day, its market share is also expected to rise greatly. And the economic arguments for this are too strong to ignore; with India heavily dependent on oil imports, transitioning to EVs could help save $60 billion on oil imports by 2030. And the average consumer will be happy to migrate to EVs as well, with fuel prices crossing a century in most parts of the country. Widespread adoption could help consumers save an average of Rs. 20,000 for every 5,000 kilometres traversed, assuming electricity costs will hover around Rs. 1.1 per kilometer. 

Tata Motors is one of the foremost movers in the space, with an early mover advantage. The future looks promising for the leading automaker as the private equity group TPG along with ADQ of Abu Dhabi has agreed to invest in the EV division Rs 7500 crore ($1 billion), valuing the business at $9.1 billion. This most certainly helps the automobile arm of Tata to boost their EV footprint and market share.  

The new investors will be given Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS), which will give them an 11-15 percent ownership in the EV unit after 18 months of conversion, with Tata Motors owning the rest. The conversion will also be tied to certain revenue criteria that have been agreed upon. The first round of 50 percent capital infusion is planned to be finished by March 22, with the remaining funds infused by the end of 2022.  

Tata Motors has already announced plans to roll out 10 new battery electric vehicles in its domestic product portfolio by 2025. The company is also evaluating the creation of automotive software and  an engineering vertical within the Tata group that will help it lead in the sphere of connected and autonomous vehicles. 

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The rise of Electric Vehicles in India

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After the boom of Electric Vehicles (EVs) across the world, Indian businesses now seek Government support in order to meet their needs by 2030 i.e., 65% of vehicles in India to be electric. 

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) said that more than 25 companies, including automakers Mahindra & Mahindra and Volvo, oil giant Shell, and clean mobility startups, want India to set firm targets and frame policies to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). 

This is India’s first coordinated effort to transition to sustainable transportation, and it comes only weeks before the United Nations’ climate change summit, which is considered as critical to eliciting additional commitments from states to combat global warming. 

In recent months, India has approved plans to encourage companies to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries in the country, boosting supply and complementing a bevy of federal and state incentives for EV purchasers. 

According to the WBCSD, by 2030, companies want 30% of new automobiles, 70% of new motorcycles and scooters, and 35% of new buses to be electric. They want the government to legalize e-bike taxi services, issue fleet permits for electric three-wheelers, make financing and leasing alternatives for electric cars more accessible, and expedite the construction of public chargers in order to achieve this. 

JBM Group of India, Hero Electric Motorcycles, Switch Mobility, Fortum Energy, IKEA, and LeasePlan are among the companies supporting the project. 

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