Workforce needs to evolve in the age of AI and automation, says forum


Swinburne Sarawak ensures a rich learning experience for 3,500 students from all over the world. — Filepic

JOBS that are routine will likely by disrupted by digital technology in the future, according to Swinburne’s Centre for the New Workforce.

Its director Dr Sean Gallagher said routine and mundane tasks willl be taken over by automation and artificial intelligence, adding that emerging jobs would evolve and be shaped by market changes.

“Firstly, technology is able to do the tasks itself and secondly, the technology is able to reorganise work to reduce cost, for example, by turning to the freelance ecconomy.”

Dr Gallagher was speaking at the ‘Learning for the Future of Work’ forum at Jen Hotel Penang.

“Over the next five years, the types of emerging jobs will take on two dimensions.

“The first group of jobs will focus on technological expertise.

“There will be high demand for experts in cloud technology, data analysis and robotics.

“The second group of jobs will focus on customer service and product development.

“Workers need to focus more on how their jobs are changing.

“They need to know how to work with and incorporate technology.

“Their responsibility is to constantly develop and adapt to the situations by following their curiosity and passion to solve daily problems.

“Experience can be gained through freelance projects, particularly in industries relevant to their area of expertise.

“If workers have digital expertise, they can gain experience by doing freelance work for companies around the world, ” he said.

Dr Gallagher then revealed that about 20% of workers in the country had done some form of freelance work which could be considered an emerging form of work.

The forum was moderated by BFM Media Sdn Bhd presenter-producer Khoo Hsu Chuang.

The panellists were Digital News Asia founder and chief executive officer Karamjit Singh and JobStreet.com Malaysia customer solutions consultant Chua Kuang Eu.

The last leg of six forums held nationwide since Feb 22 provided a platform for discourse on the future of work, one of the hottest topics that has emerged over the last couple of years.

The forum explored how technologies such as automation, robotics and AI were affecting the workforce.

It delved into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and how man and machine will come together ultimately.

It also aimed to promote Swinburne as a university with a strong understanding of the new market forces shaping the future of work as well as highlighting the Centre for the New Workforce and the vital knowledge being spread across campuses to students.

As an international branch campus of Swinburne University of Technology based in Melbourne, Australia, the Sarawak campus offers a range of industry-applicable and professionally accredited courses in business, computing, design, engineering and science.

The courses are at diploma, foundation, degree, masters and PhD levels.

The Sarawak campus has a student population of approximately 3,500.

The students come from over 45 countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Germany, Denmark and Australia.

For more information about Swinburne Sarawak, visit its website at www. swinburne.edu.my.

Those interested can also follow their Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter (@Swinburne_Swk) and YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).

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