AI could supercharge offshoring




One common belief about artificial intelligence (AI) is that it won't take your job, but someone who knows how to use it will. However, there's another possibility - someone who knows how to use AI and is based abroad could come for your job.


AI-powered offshoring could pose a threat to workers in developed economies. By making people in cheaper markets more efficient and better able to take on higher-skill jobs, the types of roles at risk of being offshored may shift from repetitive tasks to more complex work like prompt engineering, high-end customer service, and marketing.


Experts predict that overseas workers equipped with AI tools could eventually replace the need for traditional roles like engineers, designers, marketers, and assistants. Companies will face pressure to go global not just to boost sales, but to find the skilled workers they need. AI can help workers abroad become more productive and competitive, even if they aren't necessarily better, just cheaper.


Online learning is making it easier for workers in developing countries to build skills, including in AI. This is enabling them to compete with higher-paid workers in developed economies. The key will be "talent agility" - how quickly workers can learn new skills to add value.


AI is also making it cheaper to provide training in languages other than English, opening up opportunities for a wider pool of workers globally. This could allow regions like Indonesia, which previously faced language barriers, to become offshoring hotspots.


However, there is a risk that AI could become so advanced that it undercuts the need for offshore workers altogether. Governments and businesses will need to work together to address the coming changes to the job market, potentially through measures like regulating the percentage of a company's workforce that can be offshore.


Ultimately, workers will need to focus on how they can use technology to automate and add real value, as someone else will likely do it if they don't. 

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