Honey, I coded the kids!


(Article written exclusively for India Today.)


The early nineties was a golden era indeed. It was a time when you could be a well-read person and could genuinely sound smart in front of others. School projects meant you had to sift through multiple Tell Me Why books & Britannia encyclopedias to get the information you were seeking. Knowledge was not readily available, nor were videos of cats playing the piano. Not anymore thanks to the progress in technology.

Recently I was having a chat with one of my friends who happens to work at an MNC financial technology solutions company. These softwares are quite sophisticated and besides performing all operational matters they even roll out readymade PowerPoint presentations with the relevant data in a few minutes. So as a chartered accountant it is a rather uncomfortable feeling to live with that you are always just a few lines of code before being rendered unemployed for life.

Machine learning algorithms are all set to lead the next wave of technology. This is a setback for people like me who have had a not so pleasant experience with Maths. For I am simply the living embodiment of my Maths sir's disappointments.

HR experts have coined a new term for this emerging trend by calling it the ‘gig economy', where people hop doing temporary assignments from one organization to another. Which is not a bad idea when you come to think of it. Who needs the boring salary credited SMS at month end when you can get the adrenaline rush of not knowing where your next meal is coming from or when your landlord will throw you out.

Now my biggest worry is that will global warming decimate mankind first or will it be artificial intelligence. It won't be global warming for sure because as a species we have saved way too many tissue papers from food home deliveries for posterity. That's pretty much our only contribution to save the earth besides sending toddlers dressed as trees to school plays after lavishly tearing green craft paper for their costume.

In case it's the robots that take over us, will they be kind slave masters to us? You know like the ones that pay you to sip coffee and use jargons for a living.