Malaysia Must Prepare For Future Job Losses Due To AI – OpEd


The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been deemed a menace to some individuals due to its potential repercussion for employment. Malaysia’s unemployment rate is projected to stand at 3.8% in 2023. However, this figure might rise in the future due to the presence of AI, as a report by investment bank Goldman Sachs says that as many as 300 million full-time jobs will be replaced by AI in the future. 

The issue of job losses stemming from the use of AI in the technology sector has recently come to the fore and is tremendously complex. However, it is important to recognize that AI can also offer several benefits.

As a developing country, Malaysia should embrace AI and brace itself for its consequences. Notwithstanding the potential job losses, bear in mind that AI can streamline our daily activities. To successfully adopt AI as part of our advanced technology, educational institutions must play a pivotal role in preparing the future workforce. It is essential that schools and universities must equip students with extensive technological knowledge and skills in order for them to survive in the evolving job market. The curriculum should be revised to remain relevant to keep pace with fast-moving technologies. Therefore, diversifying skills that machines cannot replicate is of utmost importance.

Furthermore, universities should establish partnerships with industries to facilitate knowledge transfer and provide real-world exposure to students. This approach aims to bridge the gap between the skills required by the industry and those possessed by students. Collaborative efforts can enable students to gain hands-on experience, engage in AI projects, and develop relevant skills that align with the demands of the AI-driven job market.

Besides, the government should play a crucial role in softening the blow of AI. It should implement progressive and innovative policies to safeguard those who lose jobs due to AI. Additionally, the government must actively create new employment opportunities that remain relevant for human workers.

Despite AI being sophisticated and advanced, it cannot completely replace humans. Professions, such as teachers, doctors, and lawyers, always remain relevant. Nevertheless, embracing AI to streamline their work processes is still necessary.

Dr. Mohd Shahidan Shaari is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Business & Communication, Universiti Malaysia Perlis

Dr. Mohd Shahidan Shaari

Dr Mohd Shahidan Shaari is a senior lecturer at the Center of Excellence for Sustainability, Faculty of Business and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP). He earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and PhD in economics from Universiti Utara Malaysia. He teaches economics at UniMAP and has published more than 60 research articles.

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