HANOI: Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, coupled with its increased adoption, will have a big impact on the workforce across the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) over the next decade, according to a new study launched here today by two global firms.
Cisco and Oxford Economics launched the study titled “Technology and the Future of ASEAN Jobs” in Vietnam’s Hanoi city which is hosting the World Economic Forum on ASEAN.
According to the study, the more widespread adoption of existing technologies, coupled with advances in the use of AI through software, hardware, and robotics, will help bring down costs of goods and services, driving up demand and creating millions of new jobs.
The study predicts that the sectors that will see the greatest rise in demand for new workers are wholesale and retail (1.8 million new jobs), manufacturing (0.9 million), construction (0.9 million), and transport (0.7 million).
However, there will be a marked shift in the region’s labor market as lower-skilled jobs are displaced. According to the study, given the productivity gains from adoption of AI-enabled technologies, ASEAN’s six largest economies will require 28 million fewer workers by 2028, more than 10 percent of the current workforce, to achieve the same level of output as today.
Lower-skilled workers in the service and agriculture sectors will be the most susceptible to displacement, the latter especially as new developments, for example, in global positioning systems, telematics and smart sensors, are deployed to greater effect.
Singapore could see the biggest relative impact, with up to 21 percent of its workforce being affected. The country’s strong environment for cutting-edge digital transformation allows businesses to take advantage of new innovations as they become available.
Vietnam and Thailand are next in line, with 14 percent and 12 percent of jobs displaced, respectively. In these countries, many less productive, more monotonous jobs are projected to be eliminated, leaving Vietnamese and Thai workers free to pursue jobs in more fulfilling and productive sectors, according to the report.
On Wednesday, delegates to two technology-themed sessions of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN centered their discussions on opportunities and challenges posed by AI technology, and how leaders in the region can prepare for a future of further interconnectedness, automation, and complexity.
PM expresses grief over the loss of lives in Kabul blast
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday expressed his grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in a blast in Kabul, targeting a religious gathering.
He strongly condemned the cowardly act of terrorism and said being the biggest victims of terrorism; he could feel the pain of their Afghan brethren who continued to pay the price of war that was brought to their region.
“Our people and the two countries have paid the heaviest toll, both in terms of human lives as well as material losses, but we stand firm and unshaken,” the PM Office Media Wing in a press release quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
The prime minister also condoled with the bereaved families, saying “Our heart goes out to the bereaved families at this hour of grief.”
Bangladesh photographer freed
DHAKA: Award-winning Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam was released from prison Tuesday after more than 100 days behind bars, in a closely watched freedom of speech case.
The 63-year-old Alam was arrested on 5th August for making “false” and “provocative” statements on Al Jazeera television and Facebook during student protests.
He was freed from Dhaka’s main jail Tuesday after being granted bail last week, his wife Rahnuma Ahmad told the Media.
“He is now heading home,” she said.
He was being held under controversial internet laws which critics say have been wielded by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to stifle dissent and harass journalists.
Alam spoke briefly to reporters after he came out of prison to describe conditions inside the jail, Alam’s close associate Rezaur Rahman told the Media.
The photographer had previously said he was badly beaten while in custody.
Although Alam was granted bail for his release on Thursday last week, he had to wait another five days to be set free as the prosecution moved to appeal against the bail order.
He had earlier applied unsuccessfully for bail four times.
Alam, whose work has appeared widely in global media and who founded the renowned Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, faces a maximum 14 years in jail if convicted.
His lawyers have argued Alam’s continued detention was “a clear violation” of his fundamental rights under Bangladesh’s constitution.
The photographer’s arrest triggered international protests – with rights groups, Nobel laureates and academics calling for his release – and came after a series of mass rallies this summer after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.
The massive rallies evolved into broader demonstrations against Hasina, who will seek a third consecutive term next month, and her Awami League party.
Alam told Al Jazeera at the time that the protests were the result of pent-up anger at corruption and an “unelected government… clinging on by brute force”.
He was arrested the same day, with many other protesters held on similar charges as authorities cracked down on demonstrators.
Human Rights Watch accused Bangladesh of targeting activists and journalists in the wake of the protests instead of prosecuting those who attacked students with fists and rods.
Michelle Bachelet used her first statement as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to raise the issue of attacks on journalists in Bangladesh.
In recent weeks, Hasina has been accused of stifling dissent further by ratifying a controversial new digital-security law.
And a prominent critic of the government was arrested for defamation last month, days after he helped form an opposition coalition.
Imran Khan reaches Kuala Lumpur
KUALA LUMPUR: Imran Khan reached here today on a two-day official visit of Malaysia. It would be the first state visit by any foreign leader since Dr. Mahathir Mohamad assumed office in May.
Prime Minister Imran Khan reaches Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a two day visit. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar and PM’s Advisor on Commerce & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood are also accompanying the PM. #PMIKinMalaysia 🇲🇾🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/LbciZFUJQ5
— PTI (@PTIofficial) November 20, 2018
A relevant piece published earlier: