Finance Minister Sitharaman Unpacks Debate on AI and Job

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reassured in an interview that AI requires human intervention and won't lead to job losses on its own.

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
Finance Minister Sitharaman Unpacks Debate on AI and Job

In a special talk with a print media, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman talked about worries people have about losing jobs because of artificial intelligence (AI). She reassured that AI technology necessitates human intervention and won’t operate independently.

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Finance minister talked about the budget and the economy. When asked about worries regarding job loss with investments in AI and tech industries, she said the issue is complex and has many sides to consider.

Addressing unemployment is crucial, but jobs are not the only thing. AI needs humans to work with it as it can’t operate by itself, said Sitharaman, underlining the teamwork between AI and humans.

Sitharaman recognized that investments are important and can indirectly lead to more jobs. Even if investments in highly efficient and technology-driven sectors like AI don’t directly generate numerous jobs, having businesses in an area can lead to the creation of other employment opportunities.

“It is a layered debate. You want investment, you want jobs and then you want meaningful jobs. Then you want rewarding, highly rewarding jobs.

The finance minister praised the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India) initiatives in 2020, an important time during ongoing lockdowns. Sitharaman highlighted the resilience of the Indian economy, stating, “We continued with reforms during Covid-19. Today, unlike economies elsewhere, it [the Indian economy] is seeing sustained growth. We are on the top of the growth curve.”

When asked about the possibility of launching more Production Linked Incentives (PLIs), Sitharaman indicated that the government is yet to make a decision.

“Of the given PLIs, I think some of them have performed very well. Some others are alright. A few are yet to take off,” Sitharaman added, acknowledging the varied outcomes of the existing incentive programs.

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