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EXAME, Brazil: Cognizant’s Head of Strategy, Cognizant Digital Business, Says the Workforce Will Change; Not Be Eliminated

“Do not plan your career for the past, plan for tomorrow,” says Paul Roehrig.

Excerpts from EXAME’s interview with Roehrig:

“EXAME: The big question is what will people do when the machines do everything? Should Brazilians be afraid of losing their jobs to robots?

Paul Roehrig : That's the big question. We talked about this in the book, What To Do When Machines Do Everything. Some jobs will end, but we cannot say that this will be a problem. Automation will do more and more tasks, but we do not think this will lead to catastrophe.

EXAME: When you say ‘to be more digital, we have to be more human’, what do you mean?

Roehrig: What I, you and everyone else experiences from the digital economy is shaped through how software is made. That's why we love Netflix, LinkedIn or Google; and we do not like corporate systems written years or even decades ago. This software does not seem right to us: it was written and built because of technology. It was useful at the time, but modern technology has changed the expectations we have when interacting with software.

If you go to Google Play or the Apple Store, most apps there are not much used because they were not built well. And because they were not built for humans, they are product only of a technological capability. The other side is: I'm going to build an app as you want it and how you need it. That's what it means to be more human. It is to build software, with data and AI, in line with human needs and desires, not only with what is technically possible.

EXAME: And how can this be applied to the job market? How will technology help people with their jobs and change how they work?

Roehrig: That's a great question. After the book, we researched the 21 careers of the future thinking about it, how artificial intelligence will change jobs. AI, as we speak, will change many existing jobs. It will help teachers work better as well as drivers, doctors or lawyers. These jobs already exist, but they will be improved by technology. Thus, they will be more effective physicians and more efficient lawyers.”

Click here to read the full article in Spanish.