Sunday, 15 April 2018

A right brain revolution is just round the corner

Planning a family vacation to Manali? Simply ask your Amazon Echo device for a weather update. Bingo! A human voice (named Alexa) promptly responds with 100% accuracy. The same happens with your iPhone’s Siri or Google’s Assistant. 

 What you just experienced here, is an advanced technology called Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive computing - a technology, which according to many, will gradually make humans redundant.

Oh! So what happens to our future generations, if robots and computers take away all their jobs? Something to worry? I would rather say, relax!

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For starters, the human brain is divided into two hemispheres. Each of these hemispheres have a distinct role to perform. While the right brain gives the creative edge, the left brain helps a person to be analytical.

For decades, research scholars have pondered over how, for an individual, one part of the brain could dominate the other. This is how we have ended up dividing individuals primarily into two categories - the right brain thinkers and the left brain thinkers. While the former type include those who are more intuitive, creative and look at situations more subjectively, the second type are more logical, depend more on numerical analysis and look at problems objectively. Hence, people who are good at arts and crafts, work in advertising and other creative fields are generally categorised as right brain thinkers, while those who depend on logical analysis – software engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants – are categorised as left brain thinkers.

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Now, lets take a close look at what’s happening around the world in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). As is reported, advanced robots and machines (read: computers) are being made more and more intelligent. This has rang the alarm bell all over, with people speculating how machines are going to take over human jobs. For instance, AI chatbots are being more frequently used as the first level of communication online (your bank website will certainly have one or any other website requiring customer interface, has one). Similary, in healthcare, various pathological reports and radiological analysis are being managed by machines with much more accuracy, and definitely faster. In stock broking, algorithm based trading is replacing human interface very fast. In legal profession too, artificial intelligence is causing a lot of disruption, leading to furore among the legal fraternity. 

On a close look, what we observe is that AI is being more and more put into use in areas where the task is repetitive or tasks where computer-based logic is required, following a pattern or sequence of steps. This not only helps in making these tasks or jobs more efficiently managed, but also increases the overall productivity. Ofcourse, on the face of it, it might seem a sizeable number of jobs would get replaced, but this would also open opportunities for individuals to get up-skilled and take up tasks of higher degree involving digital capabilities. So eventually, in the long run, many of the left brain tasks – basic computing, accounting, payroll management, ticketing and travel desk, meeting scheduling - would get replaced by AI and cognitive computing.
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The future of jobs for a right brain thinker is brighter!
 On the contrary, no significant breakthrough in AI has yet been observed that could replace tasks involving human emotions, creativity and leadership. These are the right brain tasks. Experts around the world have been going gung ho with the fact that there will be a rise in demand for creatives – and over the years, they are the ones who would rule the job ecosystem. So, if you have a knack for design and art, or you enjoy lying on your back watching the stars, or love to philosophise or appreciate the finer aspects of life – you could surely excel much more than an engineer or an accountant in the coming decades.

There is a right brain revolution just round the corner.

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