Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

The workshop titled ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work’, jointly organised by IQAC and the School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems was held on 09 June 2021.  The speaker for the day was Professor Dr. Arun Sundarajan, from New York University’s (NYU)’s Stern School of Business. The event was co-ordinated by Avani Prakash (first-year BBA) and Aditya Vaidyanathan (first-year BBA). Avani chanted the prayer and introduced the speaker briefly to set the event in motion.

Prof. Sundarajan began by talking about how digital technology has caused tremendous changes in our everyday lives. He spoke about the technological capabilities of computers and of AI in the future and the future of work. He gave various examples from history where several technological innovations arose as a response to crises, similar to the various innovations that we see today in the current pandemic.

Prof. Sundararajan observed how computers have become more powerful and have now reached new thresholds in perception and cognition and how the various institutional, behavioural and ‘techonomic’ forces in addition to technological innovations, play an important role in how far a technology change goes.

He explained how a change oriented mindset has accelerated automation investments and discussed the different faces of automation that are replacing the need for human labour. Emergence of e-commerce business models that are replacing humans and evolution of business models from institution based to platform based that are emerging in almost all sectors of the world were discussed. The societal implications of this accelerating AI and platform technologies, acceleration in independently employed people and income volatility, the need to focus on mid-career occupation transition education, loss of jobs and the greater individual and business risk, which comes with it, were also discussed.

His presentation ended on the note that what we create now will decide how happy we are in future and therefore we have to design the world we want to live in.The event had around 85 participants and the Q&A session saw active participation from all.

The workshop concluded with a vote of thanks by Aditya followed by the rendition of the shanti mantra by Avani.