ICAI – Dubai Chapter hosts seminar discussing the importance of emerging technologies

Artificial intelligence and automation will not only create more jobs rather than displacing them, but will also result in higher value in earnings for professionals, according to industry experts.

“Technology impacts jobs but not work; it is estimated that more than half of predictable physical activity will be taken away by the robots and automation. A significant workshare can be lost to machines depending on activity and profession,” Rajeev Lalwani, partner for consulting at Deloitte & Touche, said during the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Seminar – From Illusion to Reality, hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – Dubai Chapter, on Saturday.

“However, the reverse is also true as new roles in jobs will come up. In the next 15 years, the following things need to be considered: governments need to rethink their policy; for professionals, there is a need to reinvent the syllabus or course; and for individual, it is a life-long learning.”

He pointed out that the good news is that gains will be much higher for professionals in terms of dollar earnings value. The average earning of a chartered accountants is going to be double because of learning new skills.

“If you don’t think about profession now is might be too late. We should not dismiss this as just another technology – it is changing things quite fundamentally. Almost half of what we learn and practice could be taken over by AI,” Lalwani added.

Emphasising on the fact that AI and automation cannot entirely replace human beings and all the jobs, Lalwani pointed out that AI cannot do is pick things from various places and make sense of it.

Abdulqader Obaid Ali, CEO of Smartworld, also ruled out that machines are going to make human redundant.

“A lot of people give a negative quotation that computers and machines are going to take over and human beings will be made redundant and jobless. That is not going to be the case ever. AI and robotics are all the ways to make our lives easier,” Ali said.

Mahmood Bangara, chairman of ICAI (Dubai Chapter), urged his industry colleagues to upgrade their skills otherwise they will lose out with the development of new-age technologies.

“Upgrade your skills into new technology because the conventional mode will be redundant soon. So professionals need to look into what specific upgrade is required for their jobs… blockchain is going to affect a lot of the way things are being done, especially the audit and accounting processes,” Bangara said on the sidelines of the summit.

Akshay Lamba, CIO of Deloitte & Touche, said companies will no longer need to set up facilities in low-cost economies, since most of the operational savings from lower labor cost is not relevant once automation takes over.

With the changing talent requirements, he said companies employing robotic process automation reduce their need for junior source headcount and will need to increase its talent pool of automation expertise.