Twelve years after dropping out of college, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally collected his Harvard degree on Thursday and also spoke some words of wise advice.
At the Ivy League university to pick up a honorary doctor of laws, media reports quoted the 33-year-old as saying that automation was going to take over human jobs, and it was time for the new graduates to tackle major, ambitious ‘public works’ projects to bring together people for the benefit of society.
He further went on to say that society was likely to see ‘tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks’ in the coming years. The Facebook CEO called for young people to work on public projects to make new jobs.
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“When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from our job, your church, your community. But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in communities is declining. Many feel disconnected and depressed and are trying to fill the void,” reports quoted him as saying, as he became the youngest person to deliver a Harvard commencement speech.
“To keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge – to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose,” he was quoted as saying, adding that it was time for generation-defining public works not just to create progress, but also to create purpose.
Zuckerberg’s assertion that automation was a going to replace human jobs comes at a time when global advisory firm McKinsey & Company said, in its report, that nearly half of Indian IT’s workforce was going to be ‘irrelevant’ over the next 3-4 years. The report further suggests that IT service providers must turn their businesses in major ways, including building new capabilities, making sure digital transformation and traditional services co-exist, etc.