AI: Evolution over elimination in Malaysian jobs - Expert

Manufacturing, logistics, customer service, finance: AI's impact unveiled

01 May 2024 11:00am
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF

SHAH ALAM - The imminent surge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionise Malaysia's job market, with certain sectors bracing for more profound impacts than others.

Among the industries expected to undergo significant transformation are manufacturing, logistics, customer service, and finance.

Speaking to Sinar Daily, Universiti Selangor (Unisel) Head of Communication Department Munirah Ilias said that AI-driven automation is set to replace repetitive tasks in factories, while AI-powered logistics systems will streamline delivery and inventory management.

"In customer service, the integration of chatbots is projected to handle a larger volume of inquiries.

"Similarly, within the finance industry, AI holds the potential to tailor financial advice and enhance fraud detection," she said.

Artificial Intelligence is not a threat

Contrary to popular apprehensions, Munirah stressed that AI should not be perceived as a threat to Malaysian workers but rather as a catalyst for transformation.

By prioritising reskilling, nurturing human-centric workplaces, and emphasising meaningful work, she believes Malaysia can smoothly transition into an AI-driven future.

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"While technology may streamline labour-intensive tasks, it will concurrently create new job opportunities that necessitate advanced technological skills," she said.

Preparing for automation and AI-driven changes

To prepare for the evolving job market, Munirah stressed the importance of continuous upskilling and reskilling.

She encouraged workers to focus on areas complementary to AI, such as data analysis, programming, and machine learning, as these skills will enable them to collaborate effectively with AI systems.

"Lifelong learning is essential, given the ever-evolving technological landscape.

"Cultivate a curious mindset and stay abreast of the latest advancements in AI and its implications for your specific field," she added.

Moreover, Munirah highlighted the significance of honing human-centric skills, which remain indispensable in an AI-driven workplace.

"Critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, effective communication, and emotional intelligence are qualities that AI cannot replicate.

"The human touch remains irreplaceable, and these skills will become even more invaluable as AI integration deepens," she affirmed," she stressed.

Potential benefits of AI adoption in Malaysian industries

On the potential benefits of AI adoption across various industries in Malaysia, Munirah pointed out its transformative potential.

While certain job roles may undergo transformation, she believes the overall impact will be more about job evolution than elimination.

"Observing industry trends, it's evident that repetitive tasks are most susceptible to automation.

"AI-powered robots are now proficient in executing monotonous tasks across production shifts, leading to enhanced efficiency and reduced labour costs," she added.

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