THERE is no denying that industrial robots, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies are causing some jobs, especially those in factories and labs, to be automated.
The change is usually driven by companies seeking to reduce costs, optimize operations, and boost efficiency, which is especially important in a global marketplace with cut-throat competition.
In Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, apps such as GoJek and GoGet and others are providing those who lose their jobs due to digitization with new opportunities.
Designed to help create a more hands-on labor force for the on-demand, self-employed economy, these apps are proof that technology can create jobs for those it displaces.
To learn more about how these apps contribute, Tech Wire Asia spoke to GoGet CEO Francesca Chia.
“We’re a greenfield, technology-based company. We’ve got 9 staff and 2 co-founders running everything on the cloud, to manage about 9,000 people, thousands of merchants, 200,000 users, and millions of dollars in transactions,” said Chia.
The idea for the company came as Chia and her two co-founders worked late and were tied up and wished there could just text someone going to a restaurant to pick up a meal for them as well.
GoGet started soon after in order to support the needs of thousands of people tied up with something, in offices and homes, wishing they had a little help picking up food or maybe bringing a parcel or envelope from a friend down the street.
However, Chia realized that the app had the power to do much more — it could provide a meaningful source of income to a lot of students, professionals, and even to those who had been displaced from their jobs as a result of digitization.
“When hiring people for GoGet, we saw that a lot of the people joining the platform were doing it to supplement their income and quickly realized that inflation always precedes pay rises, and that it could help a lot of different kinds of people and their families.”
The company uses a self-evolving algorithm to match tasks (jobs) created, with GoGetters based on their needs, skills, locations, and other factors.
GoGet is not only working with individual workers, but also with businesses — and with help from Malaysia’s MDEC, the organization is working towards helping residents find new jobs and opportunities through their app.
Although GoGet might only currently support a small number of individuals, there are plans for the company to grow significantly — given the strong demand for their service and the need in the local market.
What they’re doing in Malaysia, companies such as Grab and GoJek are doing too in Malaysia and its neighboring countries. In the future, they’re likely to be the go-to source for new opportunities, at least for those displaced by technologies in the manufacturing/industrial environment.