In the face of artificial intelligence, BPO workers take up the challenge to level up their skills to remain relevant.
Since the beginning, human beings have been creating technologies to make their lives easier. From spears to machines, we have come a long way. We have been making technologies that can help us become more efficient workers. Now we’ve come to the point that it is threatening to take over our jobs.
The technology we have today can make everything so easy for us to the extent that they are already replacing us in certain jobs. An example of this is Amazon Go, the first ever cashier-less supermarket, powered by the use of digital imaging technology. Although this is a jaw-dropping innovation in our time, the loss of cashiering jobs because of high-tech sensors and cameras cannot be overlooked. It seems that the technology made to be a relief for humans is now an anxiety for some.
Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Philippine BPO Industry
Just recently, the Philippine BPO Industry felt the impact of technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence, on their job demand. Data from online recruitment portal Jobstreet.com showed that the available BPO jobs for fresh graduates have declined, with Artificial Intelligence seen as a contributing factor. From 66% in 2016, the amount of BPO jobs available went down by a significant third to 44% in 2017.
The effect of Artificial Intelligence on BPO jobs has been making a buzz in the sector for the past months. Some BPO workers were plagued with the thought of losing their jobs because of automation. The Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Rey Untal said that there will be 43, 000 low skill BPO workers who will lose their jobs from 2016 to 2022 because of Artificial Intelligence.
But while Artificial Intelligence destroys jobs, he reiterates that it will also create new job opportunities of a different kind. Untal claims that Artificial Intelligence will generate roughly 697, 000 middle to high skill BPO jobs within the same time frame. This poses a challenge for BPO workers to acquire new skills to keep up with the new job demand.
BPO workers need to re-skill and up-skill
Key leaders from the BPO Industry have made several initiatives to re-skill and up-skill existing members of the BPO workforce. For example, IBPAP has been raising awareness about the jobs of the future through IBPAP Talks. The Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) has also partnered with local universities to offer programs that will equip students with the essential skills for entry-level BPO jobs.
Needless to say, human beings are now entering a new period, where learning new technologies and acquiring new skills are mandatory. While you can complain about the situation, nothing will change the fact that refusing to adapt can make one irrelevant and obsolete. It’s not about what’s happening anymore. The question now is: what will be your next move?
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