Tech dis­plac­ing work­ers, caus­ing alarm: DBS chief

The New Paper - - BUSINESS -

Tech­nol­ogy has the po­ten­tial to cre­ate a “use­less” class of work­ers dis­placed by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and au­to­ma­tion, even as wealth and power are con­cen­trated in the hands of a few, said DBS Group Hold­ings chief ex­ec­u­tive Piyush Gupta.

These seis­mic shifts are re­sult­ing in mount­ing un­cer­tainty about the fu­ture and caus­ing anger and alarm, which have con­trib­uted to the re­cent push­backs against glob­al­i­sa­tion, he added.

Mr Gupta was on a panel at the Milken In­sti­tute Asia Sum­mit, which was held over two days at the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel. The event fea­tured a slew of high-pro­file speak­ers, in­clud­ing No­bel Peace Prize win­ner and for­mer United States vice-pres­i­dent Al Gore.

Mr Gupta, whose panel yes­ter­day dis­cussed ma­jor trends shap­ing the world in the com­ing decades, said the pop­ulist re­volt sweep­ing across the de­vel­oped world is os­ten­si­bly a re­ac­tion to glob­al­i­sa­tion but also points to deeper is­sues.

“The im­pact of tech­nol­ogy is vastly un­der­es­ti­mated,” he said. There will be “fewer tra­di­tional jobs as we know it”.

In­stead of large cor­po­ra­tions em­ploy­ing many work­ers, he ex­pects a move­ment back to­wards small-scale en­ter­prises driven by en­trepreneur­ship and self-sus­tain­ing em­ploy­ment.

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