Opinion and Editorial

'Human cloud' is central to the new economy

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori
Filed on September 28, 2020

In 2018, the gig economy was worth $1.3 trillion in the US alone

In the previous article, we went back in time to the end of the 18th century, to witness the hurricane of change that the early industrial revolution brought, allowing intelligent people to ride its waves and become its leaders and directors. While those who insisted on rejecting the new reality, lost everything eventually.

The transformation taking place in today's world is similar, but it is more than just a hurricane; it is a real tsunami that is leaving a profound impact on the world.

Many of the jobs we know would be replaced with advanced technologies. The Internet of Things is penetrating our lives faster than our ability to understand and absorb its developments. Robots and other technological systems supported by artificial intelligence have become capable of performing complex tasks that involve not only physical effort, but also something similar to human thinking. 5G networks will soon be spreading automation on a scale beyond our imagination.

What do these considerations mean for young people, both in employment and entrepreneurship?

Perhaps the following scene could give a clear answer.

Recently, scientifically and technologically advanced societies have begun to suffer from the retirement of the generation of the 60s. These retirees left a gap that is difficult to fill-in by the younger generations, either due to their reasonably smaller population or their tendency towards independence and self-employment or their reluctance to comply with the restrictions associated with traditional jobs.

On the other hand, the less-developed societies in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere suffer from a steady increase in the number of unemployed smart youth graduating from disciplines such as computer programming, design, development, media, content and others.

There is a need here and a need there, and between the two, there is the Internet with its tremendous capabilities, making it possible to break the link between work and location. As a result, we have what is known as the gig economy, or the people's economy.

In this economy, you can rent your talent, your car, your business skills, or your ideas to get money, while the other party gets the services it needs. However, the condition for the success of this equation is that the two parties have a good relation with the mediator (the Internet). They should be among those who rode the wave of change and not those who complained or rejected the new developments.

In 2018, the gig economy was worth $1.3 trillion in the US alone. Did we say the US? Well, this is not really accurate; the reason is that 70 per cent of this huge amount was transferred to Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others through what is known as 'human cloud', the mainstay of the new economy.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori is the Head of Digital Government and Director General, TRA

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