Business

Tech displacing workers, causing alarm: DBS chief

Technology has the potential to create a "useless" class of workers displaced by artificial intelligence and automation, even as wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a few, said DBS Group Holdings chief executive Piyush Gupta.

These seismic shifts are resulting in mounting uncertainty about the future and causing anger and alarm, which have contributed to the recent pushbacks against globalisation, he added.

Mr Gupta was on a panel at the Milken Institute Asia Summit, which was held over two days at the Four Seasons Hotel. The event featured a slew of high-profile speakers, including Nobel Peace Prize winner and former United States vice-president Al Gore.

Mr Gupta, whose panel yesterday discussed major trends shaping the world in the coming decades, said the populist revolt sweeping across the developed world is ostensibly a reaction to globalisation but also points to deeper issues.

"The impact of technology is vastly underestimated," he said. There will be "fewer traditional jobs as we know it".

Instead of large corporations employing many workers, he expects a movement back towards small-scale enterprises driven by entrepreneurship and self-sustaining employment.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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