In the advent of artificial intelligence, BPO workers face 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 in making technologies that can help us become more efficient workers. The technology we have today, however, can make everything so easy for us to the extent that they can already replace us in certain jobs. An epitome of this is Amazon Go, the first ever cashierless supermarket that was enabled through digital imaging technology. Although it is a jaw-dropping innovation, the loss of cashiering jobs because of sensors and cameras cannot be overlooked. Ironically, it seems like technology will make things harder for human beings in the long run.
Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Philippine BPO Industry
Just recently, the Philippine BPO Industry felt the impact of technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence on jobs. Recent 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 BPO jobs available went down 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. Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Rey Untal said that there will be 43, 000 low skill BPO workers that 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. 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 we can complain about the situation, nothing will change the truth that refusing to adapt can make you irrelevant and obsolete. It’s not about what’s happening anymore. The question now is, what is your next move?