A long-standing argument against Artificial Intelligence is that it would replace humans and kill jobs. This has been a fear which has been prevalent since long. Japan’s bank employees might be the first set of people who may be replaced. The Japanese media has been giving this a lot of attention of late – considering it a real possibility over the next decade.
Three of the biggest banks of Japan have actually said that they will be letting thousands of people go over the next 10 years. 19,000 at Mizuho Financial Group, 9,500 at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and 4,000 at Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group. Not only are these jobs going to be cut, but the positions too, will be killed as it is expected that Artificial Intelligence will, by then, be able to replace humans in these positions.
Considering the fact that AI is a data-driven industry, it can be handled well by AI systems. A number of software companies are already working on developing software for economic information and investment performance, etc. These reports are causing quite a panic in the Japanese industry. Banks have stated that this will be a process of natural attrition and they are not going to lay off anyone – but stop new hires.
Older bank employees who have less than a decade left don’t really have much to worry about. However, this may be a worrying factor for those looking for a job prospect in a bank at this point in time or have newly joined a bank. They need to develop skills to be able to fit into other industries.
Japan’s banking industry has, in any case, been in a state of confusion for quite some time now. Japan has a no-interest policy where 0% interest is charged by the banks on loans. Banks are basically collecting the handling fees on mutual funds and insurance policies. This is a task which can be easily automated by AI. The future of Japan’s bank employees hangs in the balance at the moment!