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Adapting to the changing technologies, innovations and the future of jobs

Post by SAAD PARVEZ on Thursday, February 2, 2023

First slide

The Journey of Innovation and entrepreneurship embarks on with some abstraction.  The idea or thought must show some ingenuity, uniqueness, scope, scalability, sustainability and frugality to be converted into a marketable item. A great idea cannot creep into ordinary minds. For a pragmatic and practical idea to take birth, creativity, conceptualization, problem solving, critical thinking information and knowledge are few important aspects of the creative thinking process. “Thinking new things” is the mantra for the creativity phase, which is considered as the initial phase of this journey. The mind is like a parachute-it works only when it’s open.


Having a mere good idea or a concept is not just sufficient.   It has to be further developed, nurtured and get converted into an innovation, initially in form of a  prototype or a proof of concept of a new product, a new service, process, method, device or way of meeting an intrinsic or an extrinsic need differently, apart from solving a larger problem. Innovation is the second phase of this journey. In this phase the mantra now becomes “Doing New Things”. This phase further has three factors to consider. The first one being the System of Innovations that stresses the flow of technology and information as a key component to the innovation process. It contains the interaction between the actors needed to convert an idea into a process, product or service in the marketplace. The second important understanding is of the Technology system, which refers to the material objects of use such as machines, hardware, software, manufacturing system, methods, techniques, process, skill, cost and so forth.


The last phase of technological change refers to the invention of technologies and their commercialization via research and development (Producing emerging technologies), the continual improvement of technologies and their diffusion. Thus, Innovation is a catalyst for growth for businesses too.  For existing businesses, it means changing your business model and adapting to changes in the environment to deliver better products or services. It is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs or existing market needs. This is the stage where an innovator creates an intellectual property, which must be protected, if demanded by the inventor or innovator.  Patents, Trademark, Design, Copyright, GI, Plant variety, Trade secrets are some of the tools which enable the innovator to guard against any intellectual pilferage. 


At this stage, mentors play a vital role in developing these innovations and incubation centres have a greater contribution in establishing linkages with other stake holders besides handholding and some financial support. In short, Innovation is a battle between mind and mind set but once an innovation is successful, it should not always remain localized but should spread across the world to solve problem at different places.


The last phase of this challenging although interesting journey, is the culmination of innovations into market place by creating value. Creating and establishing ventures and economic units that are focused on a single product or service that the founders want to bring to market.  Before starting this journey, one must be very critical of the business plan, funding support, team formulation, timing, market strategy, quality control, impact and risk. Few fundamental outcomes of entrepreneurship are Economic growth, increased well-being and communication, Educational accessibility and environmental sustainability, reduced sickness, poverty and hunger apart from many more.


When successful entrepreneurs look at issues faced by the society, they choose to see opportunities. There are over billion people around the globe who don’t have access to clean drinking water. There are another billion people who live in absolute poverty, less than a dollar a day. Today there are preventable diseases like diarrhoea that kills 2.3 million children every year. There are so many circumstances we find our self in which are unfortunate, but we look at them as statistics while an entrepreneur looks from the lens of opportunities. The new generation entrepreneurs are generally not focusing on mere opportunities instead focus on unfortunate opportunities they are going to leverage business to solve issues like malnutrition, poverty, inadequate education, health care, climate change etc. 


Innovation and the future Job

We are living through a technological revolution that, so far, only existed in science fiction stories. The emerging technologies and the worldwide growth of business are in sectors such as AI, machine learning, ICT, Bio-technology, Nano-technology, materials, energy and environment.

Artificial intelligence-powered technologies & innovations

They are poised to disrupt the world and transform human history. As powerful agents of change, AI technologies provide a plethora of opportunities to complement human intelligence and combat socio-economic issues. AI is when Machines Exhibit intelligence, perceive their environment and take actions/make decision to maximize chance of success at a goal. AI involves feeding data sets into a machine to create self-learning patterns, thus enabling cognitive functions such as thinking, perceiving, learning, and problem-solving and decision making-tasks that historically required human intelligence. 

India being one of the fastest growing & largest economies of the world, it is imperative for us to work dedicatedly to harness the power of AI for sustained growth. India aims to create a robust AI ecosystem, including a national strategy aimed at leveraging AI for economic prosperity, sectorial progress & inclusive growth with millions of new job creation. Efficient AI strategies that strengthen research capabilities, support business adoption, and develop standards for its ethical use will pave the way for effective integration of AI innovations in New India’s growth story. The future will find application of AI virtually in every walk of business, Health care, Manufacturing, Smart gadgets, Military, Space, Education, Investments etc.  


AI will displace millions of existing jobs but would create millions other. For example 65% of children entering schools today would hold jobs that currently don’t exist. The new skills which are important for such primary school children would include Analytical thinking, Emotional intelligence, Cultural intelligence, Creativity, Interpersonal skills, Decision making, Technical skills, Activity learning and much more.  Are we ready for this challenge? Education is quickly changing. From Education 1.0, we are approaching towards Education 4.0 which would be an innovation based education system crossing over the Education 3.0, the Knowledge based education.


How is AI used in digital twins?

Digital twins (DT) simply mean to create a virtual replica of some physical product. To explain what Digital Twin means in simple words, it is a digital replica or a representation of a physical object (e.g. aircraft engine, person, vehicle) or an intangible system (e.g. marketing funnel, fulfilment process) that can be examined, altered and tested without interacting with it in the real world and avoiding negative consequences. For example, digital twins are used in the maintenance and quality assurance process of flight simulation and aerospace flight machines. The real aircraft model is established in the digital space, and then AI technology is applied to analyze aircraft status in the digital space.  It integrates Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data analytics to create Living Digital Simulation models that update and change as their physical counterpart change.


DT are used to optimized machines used in the maintenance of power generation equipment such as Aircraft engines, Wind Turbines, Offshore platforms, HVAC control systems, Locomotives. DT will be used in many areas such as smart building, Health care, Oil and Gas, Smart cities and many more. Engineers can get information of the product usage in the real world and can include the information for further development. The DT gives easy access to advance product Asset maintenance and management with real time Nature; Decision making is easier with highly complex cases such as optimizing processes, virtual controls, reduce physical efforts. Using this technology the consumer insights and behaviour data gathered can help improve the product development and innovation in a more data and customer driven way.


Over time, Digital representation of virtually every aspect of our world would be connected dynamically with the real world counterpart and with one another and infused with AI based capabilities to enable advance simulations, operations and analysis. DT are being used to optimize the manufacturing services.


Few future jobs where young students can start thinking today are   as follows:

  • Software developers.
  • Web Developer.
  • Big data analyst
  • Specialists in User/Customer Experience.
  • Creators (Digital influencers).
  • Advisor to Creators.
  • Digital marketing professionals.
  • Environmental engineer.
  • 3D Architect and Engineer.
  • Innovation manager.
  • E-commerce specialist.
  • Specialist in renewable or alternative energy.
  • Quantum machine learning analyst.
  • Social Media Analyst.
  • Information security.


The young minds also need to unleash their creative capabilities, be passionate and work hard to relearn the English alphabets for knowing the emerging technologies, where millions of new job prospects are going to welcome them with open arms. These are as follows:

A: Artificial Intelligence.

B: Block Chain, Big Data, Business Intelligence.

C: Cyber security, Cloud computing.

D: Data analytic and intelligence.

E: Extended reality, Electronics, Energy solutions, Edge computing.

F: Full Stack developer. Fog Computing.

G: Gamification.

H: HTML-5. GitHub.

I: IoT.

M: Machine learning.



(Author is Head, IIED Centre NIT Srinagar)

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