For the longest time, the introduction of new systems has planted fear in the minds of those hoping to be a part of the future workforce, as they worry about being replaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Experts believe that this presents an opportunity rather than a threat.
With South Africa’s concerning stats when it comes to youth unemployment, it is advisable that individuals gain skills that are relevant to today’s market.
However, the use of AI in the workplace varies from country to country.
For instance, in petrol stations in America, there is self-service whereas, in South Africa, we have petrol attendance (human) performing the very same function.
While some functions may be replaced by AI, some functions continue to be carried out by humans in other countries.
Experts have shared that the challenge in South Africa is technological quality and access to broadband and a digital world.
However, we have witnessed how the big four financial institutions, namely, Standard Bank, Absa, FirstRand, and Nedbank, have migrated towards 4IR technologies.
This shows evolution, the evolution that the University of Johannesburg has also embraced by introducing it as part of the university’s curriculum.
The aim of this is to make sure that students are better prepared for digitalization and have the necessary skills after exiting the institution of learning.
In an interview, the university’s Miriam Altman, professor in 4IR at the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg said:
In South Africa, we are probably the furthest ahead in Africa and capable.
Altman added this was recently evident in the high numbers of people using electronic transactions and e-commerce in everyday life.