New Delhi: Despite the looming fears that AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics will take away jobs, Indians seem to be more optimistic than their peers in other regions about the impact of technology on their lives. This was one of the key findings from an opinion poll commissioned by the World Economic Forum and carried out by SAP and Qualtrics, involving over 10,000 people from 29 countries.
The results of the poll were released at World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2019 (October 3-4) in New Delhi.
According to the survey, participants from Indian showed more trust in climate scientists and international organizations than people in other countries. Responding to whether new technologies make life better or worse, 55% said it will make it much better, compared to global average of 37%. The only region where the optimism towards technology is higher is Sub Saharan Africa, where 60% felt technology makes life better. Indian participants also felt that technology makes personal relationships, society and jobs better.
While more than 50% Indians acknowledged that new technologies could automate many of the existing jobs and lead to job losses, they were also positive that there will always be new job opportunities in a growing economy like India.
This is in sharp contrast to the current reports and figures, according to which, unemployment is at a 45 year high and more than 350,000 people have recently been laid off in automobile sector.
When asked about how difficult getting new jobs would be in an economy driven by technology, 37% said getting a different job will be extremely easy while 29% were of the opinion that it will be somewhat easy. In comparison, only 13% of the global average believed that finding jobs will be extremely easy. In fact 25% if global participants felt it will be somewhat difficult.
The rise of advanced technologies has the potential to create economic and social value, and bolster India’s goal of maintaining its growth momentum,” Sriram Gutta, Head of Community Development, India and South Asia, World Economic Forum said in a press statement.
Indians were also found to be less doubtful of the intentions of technology companies and more than 66% rejected the notion that they only want to make money.
This might stem from the fact that many of the technology companies and CEOs have donated billions of dollars through CSR intitiatives.