Before robots actually come for all our jobs, Google wants to help us avoid that apocalypse. The company has announced it is investing $50 million (roughly Rs. 320 crore) to study and prepare humans for the “changing nature of work.”
Beginning with investments in the United States and Europe, company’s philanthropic organisation – Google.org – will work to ensure that “as many people as possible can make the most of the new jobs, industries and opportunities that are emerging — some of which we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago.”
One such change is the rise of gig economy – a model where companies such as Uber, Ola, Airbnb focus on offering short-term jobs that allow people to free themselves from a traditional, 9-to-5 work environment. However, the short-term nature of the jobs also often leads to tremendous stress among employees of such companies. Numerous studies predict a boom in the number of such jobs.
Some of the $50 million Google has committed will go to non-profit companies like Code for America, an organisation that will work with workforce development agencies to make it easier for job seekers to access the training they need, and provide them with counselling and guide to different opportunities.
Another company in which Google is making an investment is Social Finance, a UK-based organisation which works to solve social problems. It will use the money to help students with weak financial background make the most out of “contributions from trainees, governments and future employers.”
Google’s commitment in putting a serious thought into finding the jobs of the future comes as several industries begin to lay off workers and use much more affordable robots and algorithms. The growing consensus among many is that jobs of future will require humans to learn new skills.
Google itself has the same belief. The company said it believes more than a third of the jobs in future are “likely to require skills that are uncommon in today’s workforce.”