Government

Rise of the Machines: Osinbajo Scared of Possible Takeover by Robots and AI

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Vice President Osinbajo is worried about the impact Artificial intelligence could have in the Nigerian workplace

It is not uncommon in many places to see AI or Robots taking over the role of humans and the Vice President is worried about how this could affect the average Nigerian who might lose his/her job to AI

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations and Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management on Friday, in a bid to combat this possibility, the Federal Government is committed to imparting employable skills on young students so that they are not at a disadvantage.

“We will be the third most populous nation in the world. What sort of skills will these young men and women require? Where will they work?” Osinbajo said

”Already, we are contending with how technology is redefining the structure of industry and commerce and the skills required to function in them.

“But more disturbing is the growing apprehension of redundancy of many who today work in the millions of jobs that may be unnecessary as robots and Artificial Intelligence perform the same functions far more efficiently and even cheaper.

“What will retraining this possibly redundant workforce entail? What happens to pensions of retired humans when the majority of current workers are robots who earn nothing?

“How about the growing concerns about work life balance? What sort of work environment makes for the most productive worker?

”Is it the formal work space which we are used to or something less constraining more flexible as we are seeing in the new technology companies.’’

Osinbajo disclosed that the government has plans to revive the economy and one of their most important plans is invest in people

“Our plan, especially with regards to education and health, is one that we have spent a great deal of time working on, and we are, of course, in the process of ensuring that it is fully implemented.

“One of the most important features of that Human Capital development plan is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Education.

“The focus is on employable skills from primary school all the way up to tertiary education. But the focus on primary and secondary education is on employable skills, especially technology.

“So, our focus is on teaching young people from the primary school, even pre-primary school, using all of the new techniques such as code writing skills, software writing skills and all that.

“The new technologies that are developing and all of what we are seeing today clearly shows us that anyone in the coming generation will be left behind if they are not at the cutting edge of technology.

”We believe that our educational system must incorporate that, which is why a lot of attention, in the new curriculum, is focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.’’

Famutimi Femi is a writer for theheraldng. He is also a lawyer by trade. His hobbies include reading and writing, he also loves Renaissance art.

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