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While Robots Steal Blue-Collar Jobs, White-Collar Workers are Being Replaced By AI

Robots Stole Blue Collar Jobs, Now AI Is Coming for White Collar Workers

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Robots are set to take over the blue-collar jobs of less-educated Americans. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Robots might be taking over the blue-collar jobs of less-educated Americans, but artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to shake up college-educated employees in higher paying jobs, leaving no worker immune to the impact of technology on the American workforce.

“[AI] will be used more extensively by the most high-paid and many of the best-educated workers,” says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. “Automation has usually tended to affect lower-pay workers. AI is going to be highly prevalent in the middle class, white collar office. It was surprising to see how clearly that jumped out.”

AI is generally regarded as programming computers to do things that normally require human intelligence — tasks such as planning, learning, reasoning, and problem-solving. Muro and his colleagues analyzed which jobs will be most highly affected by artificial intelligence going forward. What they learned is that virtually every occupation will feel AI’s effects.

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Here is an average standardized AI exposure graph. VOA

But whether AI will displace more highly skilled workers in the same way robots have replaced lower-skilled workers is hard to predict. AI might create entirely new jobs and occupations for humans.

“We can’t really say at this point whether [AI] will lead to the destruction of work or the support of work. Both things could happen,” Muro says. “It may not mean anything disturbing. It may mean that those workers will have access to very powerful new technologies. But it may mean there will be a lot more flux in those higher paid occupations.”

Jobs performed by people with a 4-year college degree, which were once largely immune from automation, could be the hardest hit. These include market research analysts, sales managers, programmers, management analysts, and engineers. Positions that are “heavily involved in pattern-oriented or predictive work” are expected to be “especially susceptible to the data-driven inroads of AI,” according to the analysis.

“Everyone is going to be affected in some way by automation,” Muro says. “So I think this opens up the possibility of all groups in the society needing to recognize that they’re in this together… automation is going to be an important factor in the next 20 years, so we’d better work together to come up with better solutions or responses.”

Muro’s analysis finds that workers in manufacturing, often less educated workers, will also be impacted by AI, but to a lesser extent than the more highly educated.

Robots are used to scan shelves to help provide associates with real-time inventory data at a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Robots aren’t replacing everyone, but a quarter of U.S. jobs will be severely disrupted as artificial intelligence accelerates the automation of today’s work, according to a new Brookings Institution report. VOA

Of course, this is not the first time American workers have been impacted or potentially impacted by technology.

“There have been technologies that have been implemented that didn’t lead to the wide-scale job losses,” says William M. Rodgers III, professor of public policy and chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, “but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to have a public policy response.”

Rodgers co-authored a report on how robots are affecting workers and their wages.

“We do have to ensure that we have safety nets or approaches that can help cushion the blow for people who do get displaced by technology,” Rodgers says.

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The challenge, as Muro sees it, is to determine how humans can add value.

“What are the human traits that are resilient and will be durable in the face of new technologies,” Muro says, “and then how do we help people retrain, seek new work that they need to adjust to or, if their careers break down from this, how do we provide better social safety net?” (VOA)

 

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India Becomes the Second Largest Smartphone Market After China: Report

India surpasses US to become 2nd largest smartphone market

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The Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level. Pixabay

New Delhi: Riding on Chinese brands, the India smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level and this is the latest science and technology news, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally — reaching 158 million shipments in the calender year 2019 with 7 per cent (YoY) growth, a report from Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 per cent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 per cent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.

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India has now become the second-largest smartphone market after China globally. Pixabay

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

“Chinese brands share hit a record 72 per cent for the year 2019 as compared to 60 per cent share a year ago.

“This year, we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For instance, Xiaomi, realme, and OnePlus have increased their offline points of sale while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15 times, 24 times and 18 per cent, respectively.

“This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” Jain added.

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Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent. Pixabay

Samsung shipments remained almost flat (YoY) while it has shown a 5 per cent (YoY) decline in 2019.

“This is for the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). However, it needs to double down its efforts to keep the momentum going,” the report noted.

While the smartphone market registered YoY growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of nearly 42 per cent YoY in 2019 and 38 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2019.

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“This is due to slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual
growth despite the overall segment declined showing the untapped potential of the market,” said the report.

In fact, itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019, followed by Samsung and Lava. (IANS)