Generative AI: Catalyst for job growth or automation threat?

Tech Mahindra’s CEO CP Gurnani sees generative AI creating more jobs, challenging fears of workforce disruptions, and advocating adaptability.
By: | December 20, 2023

While anxieties surrounding generative AI’s potential to disrupt the workforce, Tech Mahindra’s outgoing CEO, CP Gurnani, contended that generative AI has the capacity to generate more employment opportunities than it is anticipated to eliminate. Despite widespread concerns on social media regarding AI’s impact on the job market, Gurnani emphasised that the full spectrum of generative AI use cases is still evolving, suggesting a wealth of untapped potential for job creation.

“The use cases of generative AI are still being defined, which means that it has the potential to create more job opportunities in the future,” Gurnani said. He highlighted the capabilities of AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, citing their ability to generate human-quality writing, poetry, and even complex code.

Unlike some industry leaders who predict significant job losses due to automation, Gurnani, one of the longest-serving CEOs in the US$245 billion Indian IT sector, believed skilled professionals will remain irreplaceable. “New jobs will also get created. The market will expand,” he added.

This optimistic outlook aligns with other prominent voices like NR Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder of Infosys, who dismissed fears of coders being replaced by generative AI tools. The evidence so far also supports Gurnani’s stance. A recent study by the European Central Bank and International Labour Organization found no significant job losses directly attributable to generative AI automation, reported The Business Times.

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Recognising the need for workforce adaptation, Gurnani urged young engineers to embrace lifelong learning and independent skill development. He suggested a departure from the conventional approach of organisations like Infosys, known for its expansive training centre in Mysuru, Karnataka. This shift may signify a broader transformation in the operational model of Indian IT organisations, moving away from campus recruitment and centralised training towards a more agile and skill-oriented approach.