Digital transformation has become the new normal in every industry. The rate of technological progress accelerates year after year, bringing disruptive innovations and game-changing technologies such as virtual reality, VR, AR, artificial intelligence, AI, machine learning, and robots.
These changes are not just about using new tools to improve current services. They are about transforming businesses to make them better and more cost-effective in a new digital world.
Let’s look at how AI and robots are changing the world of work today and in the future.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a term that has been around since the 1950s. It is the concept of machines that can perform human tasks and complete them more efficiently than humans can. In other words, artificial intelligence is the idea of machines that act as if they are sentient.
They are able to analyze data, solve problems, and make decisions in a way that is indistinguishable from how humans would approach the same problem.
AI depends on machine learning, which is a subfield of computer science that uses algorithms to discover patterns in data and then build models based on those patterns. Machine learning is responsible for most of the AI technologies that we see in the world today.
Why Are Robots Becoming So Popular?
Artificial intelligence is boosting the use of robots worldwide, especially in manufacturing and logistics. For instance, an autonomous robot could be used to deliver your order in a warehouse, in a restaurant, or even at home. If you’re in manufacturing, you probably already use robots.
But if you have production lines that are highly automated, you may have already incorporated some AI technology into them. In many industries, robots are being used in place of human workers. It’s not because employers are heartless or intend to make people redundant but because AI and robots are simply more efficient.
Consider these examples: Retail: In a typical store, the flow of goods from different areas of the warehouse to the sales floor is a manual process. This includes the selection of products, packaging, and placement. If a store wants to try out new products or change the way things are displayed, it’s often a long, costly process. With AI and robots, the process could be automated, streamlined, and much more efficient.
Healthcare: This sector is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s medical expenses. AI and robots can improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. They can perform medical procedures that were once only done by humans.
Will AI and Robots Make You Unemployed?
Artificial intelligence and robots are being developed to work in combination with humans, not replace them. So we won’t see a time when these technologies rule the world and humans have no place in it.
The reality is that AI and robots are more likely to create jobs than reduce employment. They are going to be used to perform tedious tasks like data entry and predictable physical tasks like lifting and moving objects in a factory.
There is a risk that AI could make people more redundant. However, the number of jobs created by AI will exceed the number that is lost. With the number of AI startups growing, it’s likely that we’ll see some of these companies go global and employ many people.
The Existing Jobs That May Disappear Due to AI and Robots
Some jobs that may disappear due to AI and robots include:
Data Entry: American data entry workers are often paid less than $15 an hour. That’s less than the minimum wage in some states. As AI becomes more advanced and capable, it’s likely that your company will switch to automated processes. This could mean no more duplicate data entry or human transcription.
Translation and Language Interpretation: The translation of text, speech, and languages is a $100 billion market. This could be transformed by AI and end human translation.
Trucking: Self-driving vehicles are expected to be on our roads in the next five to 10 years. They will change the way we gain freight, move goods, and transport passengers. It’s likely that many truck drivers will lose their jobs.
Service Call Jobs: Customers have been able to get immediate service via apps and chatbots. This has led to a reduction in service call jobs in many industries, including retail, travel, and telecommunications.
The New Jobs That Will be Created by AI and Robots
According to the World Economic Forum, the jobs that will be created by AI and robots include:
Data scientists: Data scientists are needed to analyze the data collected by robots. – Ethical and social engineers: They need to create algorithms that make AI and robots work for society in a socially appropriate way.
Cybersecurity experts: AI and robots need to be protected against hacking. These experts will work to secure them against cyber threats.
Designers: Designers will be needed to create AI-powered products that are intuitive and easy to use.
Policymakers: Policymakers will be responsible for ensuring that AI and robots are used in a socially responsible way.
Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming the way we work. They are being developed to work in combination with humans, not replace them. AI will create new jobs as well as eliminate others.
There is a risk that AI could make people more redundant. However, the number of jobs created by AI will exceed the number that is lost.
As technology continues to advance and become more complex, it’s important to keep in mind that it can be a great resource for improving productivity and efficiency—but only if it’s managed properly.
There are few markets in the world with as much untapped potential for electric car adoption as Africa. The continent has a growing middle class, a rapidly expanding fleet of new cars, and an urgent need to reform its energy sector.
But can electric vehicles help solve these problems? Or is it not yet time for the electric car in Africa?
These are some of the questions that many auto executives and investors have been asking recently. After all, in other emerging markets such as China, India, and Latin America, sales of electric cars have surged thanks to government incentives and other support programs. In comparison, sales of electric cars remain very low in Africa — in part due to challenges with local production and lack of charging infrastructure.
With a population of around 1 billion people, Africa is one of the regions with the highest growth potential for electric vehicles. Here’s how it could help expand adoption.
What is holding back the electric car in Africa?
Despite several advantages — such as air pollution reduction and lower total cost of ownership — the electric car is yet to become as popular in Africa as in other emerging markets. One of the main reasons is a lack of support from national governments.
While several countries in Asia and Latin America have implemented ambitious plans to promote the electric car, African countries have so far been less active in this regard. Without clear support from governments, consumers are unlikely to embrace electric cars.
Another factor that might be holding back the electric car in Africa is the lack of local production facilities. Most of the electric vehicles sold in Africa are imported from Europe and the US — and this could significantly increase the costs of EV ownership.
Finally, the lack of charging infrastructure is another significant obstacle to the wider adoption of electric cars in Africa.
In some countries, such as Nigeria, there is simply no charging infrastructure at all. In others, such as South Africa, charging stations are starting to appear. But in most African countries, there are not nearly enough charging points for electric cars to become mainstream.
Improving local manufacturing capacity
The lack of local manufacturing capacity is one of the main barriers to the wider adoption of electric cars in Africa. To increase the number of EVs on their roads, countries need to build a local market for electric cars. This requires the government to invest in R&D to create a local supply chain for EV parts and build a network of charging stations in cities. For example, the government of Tanzania is actively pursuing this strategy to promote electric cars. It is supporting the development of local charging infrastructure, including partnerships with private companies.
The government of Tanzania is also helping companies to set up R&D facilities in the country, to help local businesses to produce batteries and other EV components. This approach should help to reduce the costs of EVs and encourage more people to buy them.
The government of Rwanda is another country actively promoting electric cars. It recently built a factory that produces batteries for EVs — and plans to ramp up production to 10,000 units per year by 2020. These are significant steps that could help Rwanda to expand its fleet of EVs from a few hundred to several thousand units shortly.
It’s worth noting that similar efforts are underway in several other African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Morocco, and Nigeria. So, there is a good chance that we will see more electric cars on the streets of African cities in the next few years.
Another challenge to the wider adoption of electric cars in Africa is a lack of charging infrastructure. Many African countries have no or very few charging stations. This could significantly hamper the growth of the electric car market and prevent consumers from switching to cleaner modes of transport.
To encourage consumers to buy electric cars, governments need to invest in setting up charging infrastructure. Some African countries are already actively working on this. For example, Kenya is building a network of charging stations at various points along the country’s main roads.
In addition, Kenya is also working with the UN to launch a program for charging stations across Africa. Other countries are also making efforts in this direction. For example, Nigeria is also building a network of charging stations, and Mali is expected to have a charging station in each of its largest cities. These are positive trends that could help to grow the electric car market.
Environmental benefits of electric cars
Finally, the growing adoption of electric cars is expected to improve air quality in major African cities. The emissions from gasoline-powered cars and other vehicles have been identified as one of the major sources of air pollution in many African countries. They contribute to the rising number of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in the region, which led to 2.7 million deaths in 2016.
Boosting the number of electric cars on the road could thus help to improve air quality in African cities. This would in turn help to reduce medical costs and improve the quality of life in many African countries. Also with EVs adoption, Africa could be joining global forces to curb climate change, which affects the continent the most.
In many ways, Africa is the ideal market for electric cars. The continent has a growing fleet of new cars, a rapidly expanding middle class, and a pressing need to reform its energy sector. And while many African countries are yet to embrace the electric car, there are several reasons to expect a rise in EV adoption shortly.
Local governments are taking steps to boost R&D and infrastructure, while businesses are making efforts to produce more affordable EVs. When it comes to the electric car, Africa has all the potential to become the next big thing.
In one of my articles about Marketing in the Metaverse, I wrote; “I am not sure what will be left about meaningful human interaction if a substantial part of our day-to-day life will be conducted virtually. That will depend on whether virtual reality is better than reality.
But since we now care about nothing else other than profit-making, the metaverse has mouth-watering promises to businesses”.
Well, the father of PlayStation, Ken Kutaragi, has recently expressed similar concerns. He is not impressed with our new favorite buzzword — the Metaverse.
“Being in the real world is very important, but the metaverse is about making quasi-real in the virtual world, and I can’t see the point of doing it,” he said
You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites. Headsets would isolate you from the real world, and I can’t agree with that. Headsets are simply annoying.
He especially finds the idea of wearing VR and AR headsets in order to experience the metaverse “simply annoying”. The 71-year-old Kutaragi believes that people would rather have tech blend in with the existing reality.
I agree with him. If our agreed mantra is to be “realistic with oneself”, then the metaverse may not be such a good idea. Because it separates you from reality.
What do you think of the Metaverse? I personally think each one of us will have to wait and find out whether a “polished avatar” of you is better than “the real you”.
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