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No Need To Worry About AI, India Should Focus On Skill Development, Says Bibek Debroy

No Need To Worry About AI, India Should Focus On Skill Development, Says Bibek Debroy

bibek debroy
File photo of EAC-PM chairman Bibek Debroy. (Image credit @bibekdebroy/Twitter)

Emphasising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent sentiments about AI, Bibek Debroy, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM, said that artificial intelligence would not lead to a scenario where there are fewer jobs.

Speaking at a seminar titled, Manufacturing Jobs: Implications for Productivity and Inequality, Debroy said, "There will always be some job loss, that does not mean that there will be overall fewer jobs... There is no need to be worried about AI, instead India should be more concerned about human development and skill development."

According to a news wire, Debroy also said that India will be relatively more endowed with labour and that the country was not going to "age" at least till 2035. "We would have better employment data in the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019," said Debroy, adding that the share of manufacturing in India's overall GDP has remained stable over the last 25 years.

Debroy's statement comes hot on the heels of former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan’s statement last month, where he had said that jobs which required high intelligence, creativity and human empathy would not be taken over by AI.

Rajan had also said that though some of the jobs may be in danger, it was wiser to make progress in technology so as to not lag behind the rest of the countries. “With technology, across every job there is going to be a restructuring, taking away the routine aspects and leaving the creative and customised aspects of that job,” he had said.

Prime Minister Modi in one of his monthly addresses Mann Ki Baat, had spoken about using AI for the good of divyangs (specially abled) persons, underprivileged citizens and farmers.

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In fact, PM Modi had also downplayed the fears of citizens losing jobs to robots and automation. Speaking at the inauguration of Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence on the Kalina campus at University of Mumbai, he had affirmed that AI would increase the citizens’ productivity, and not take away their employment.

Through a series of events and speeches from earlier this year, PM Modi is seen to have been deliberately showcasing India as well as his government as technologically forward. In fact, industry insiders are happy to see that the Modi-led NDA government is working towards supporting a tech-driven future.

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