How will Industry 4.0 affect future jobs?
Digitization is often associated with the term Industry 4.0, as well as labor market and job issues. Let's look at what this concept entails and how it can affect us in the future.
Industry 4.0 is a term we can call the 4th Industrial Revolution. This revolution originated in Germany and began in 2011. The reasons for the fourth industrial revolution were mainly the previous economic crisis and the fact that a number of manufacturing companies in Germany began to relocate production to third countries for reasons of cost-effectiveness. The German Research Association for Science and Economics responded to this, creating a concept to maintain production and maintain technological standards. This program was called Industry 4.0. They presented the concept as a social change that connects the social, physical and virtual worlds. From the previous sentence, you can assume that the Internet and digitalisation play an important role in this revolution. This concept later spread throughout the world, and we successfully continue the revolution in all spheres of (not just) corporate life. The basic elements of the industry include:
Vertical connections of intelligent production systems, marketing, logistics, where the primary needs of the customer are taken into account;
Horizontal integration through global networks, including the integration of business partners and associates, or global cooperation;
Application of technology to the entire life cycle of products and services;
Acceleration through exponential technologies, which are receiving extraordinary space due to the revolution (eg sensors, chips, etc.);
Innovation vs. Industry 4.0
"Innovation is the ability to see opportunity in change, not a threat." (Steave Jobs)
If we go back to a bit of history, it is necessary to mention that this is really the 4th industrial revolution. The previous ones were gradually focused on the use of steam and mechanization, steam production, the use of computers and technology. And today's complements digitization. However, if it was written at the beginning of the article that this was a society-wide revolution, then it certainly is. The revolution will not only cause a "revolution" in companies where modern technologies begin to be used. From previous revolutions, it is also possible to observe the riots of employees who (rightly) feared for their jobs, which replaced the machines. The present is the same. Indeed, some jobs may be lost through digitization and automation. From this point of view, it is really a revolution in the labor market that we need to prepare for. The podnikajte.sk portal described several job positions that may be endangered thanks to Industry 4.0. These are, for example, the professions:
Telemarketing worker, where the probability of replacement by artificial intelligence is up to 99%. Telemarketers do not have to have a high level of emotional intelligence, which is currently the case with artificial intelligence. At present, we can already meet that we are handled by "robots" when processing the requirements of mobile operators.
Accountant, invoicer are positions where you work with a large amount of data. Many of these activities are now automated. Software is usually cheaper than human labor, which predisposes it to massive use. It should be emphasized that some accounting positions in the highly specialized sector will be maintained.
Receptionist - a number of automated systems today can replace the "classic" tasks of receptionists. Therefore, in the future we may encounter the fact that instead of a nice receptionist, a robot will smile at us.
Courier - a position that is currently very popular due to the current pandemic situation. However, couriers will be replaced by robots in the future and delivery will also be carried out via drones.
Salesman - we can already observe the trend of emerging self-service cash registers in retail chains. The future belongs to them.
On the contrary, which positions are not at risk?
Managers - the main reason for their constant need will be the emotional intelligence that is needed to perform the profession of manager in all areas.
Directors - just like managers, they need to have a human side. The directors represent the company and define its vision and mission. Artificial intelligence can't do that.
Programmers - this is a demanding job, which in the case of a robot is almost impossible to learn. There is also a need for someone to develop our future in the areas of digitization, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Graphic designers - as some of it is an artistic and creative work, there is very little chance that this position could be replaced by robots. The customer will always require compliance with the requirements according to his specifications.
As you may have noticed, managers and programmers will not be largely replaced by automated technology. This is mainly due to the fact that any artificial intelligence still lacks other intelligence - the emotional one, which is extremely important. We also need to have our artificial intelligence under control and we need programmers. The labor market, but also the Slovak education system, must respond to the coming changes. There is a need for schools to train professionals who will be applicable in practice. Conversely, the state will have to provide adequate retraining for people who have lost their jobs.
"Be a manager who takes account of innovation and monitors the changes that digitization brings and its challenges. The job of a manager cannot lose its human side. "