On 28 August 2018, the Australia India Institute hosted a Question Marks Seminar on the topic ‘What is the future of work in the technology sector?’ Dr Janaki Srinivasan and Dr Bidisha Chaudhuri from IIIT-Bangalore spoke with Dr Jonathan Balls and Dr Fabio Mattioli on the kinds of jobs being created by the platform economy, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in India, and the new skills sets and gendered labour associated with these jobs.
Dr Srinivasan, who researches the political economy of information-based development, discussed how platform economy businesses are requiring their employees to develop a variety of new skills deemed to be associated with providing a professional service. She furthermore spoke about how, to date, jobs in the platform economy are often for men only, with women unable to take up opportunities because businesses say that they would be unable to ensure their safety.
Dr Chaudhuri, whose work focuses on ICT for development and policy reform with an emphasis on gender and e-governance in South Asia, explored how artificial intelligence and machine learning are both a threat to large numbers of IT sector jobs in India, while also promise the creation of new kinds of jobs and industries. She noted that the Government of India has been slow to move in this area, because of the threat to jobs.
Both Dr Balls and Dr Mattioli the challenges presented by new jobs involving labour that is gendered for either men or women only, the societal implications of the rise of the platform economy and services based on artificial intelligence, and requirements for government regulation and interventions.
Missed the seminar? Watch the recording below.