Sinodinos opens CeBIT 2017 with big innovation pitch

By May, 2017 August 31st, 2017 Federal, ICT
Arthur Sinodinos has slammed criticism of innovation for the notion that it will lead to job losses, retorting that jobs are emerging in other areas.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos. Image: CeBIT Australia/flickr

As CeBIT 2017 returns to the Sydney CBD at the new International Convention Centre after two years being shifted to the wilderness of the Olympic Park complex, a set of new faces has taken the front and centre row.

Among them include federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, who was eager to talk up the Turnbull government’s digital credentials.

Senator Sinodinos used his platform to promote the digital transformation agenda of the federal government, which has been a recurring theme at CeBIT in the last few cycles.

He’s also in the unenviable position of having to defend the notion of “innovation”, as the meaning of that word automatically means “automation” and therefore conjures imagery of “job losses” in certain industries.

But Senator Sinodinos was having none of that, saying that “we’re not afraid of innovation”.

“I know some people now ask ‘should we be a bit scared because innovation means that jobs are going in some areas’, but jobs are growing in others,” Senator Sinodinos asserted to the CeBIT audience.

“There are jobs being created today that we have no idea. This is the lesson of history. This is the lesson of technological progress. We have to be optimists,” Senator Sinodinos said.

Athough the CeBIT audience was largely made up of CIOs, start-up CEOs and government personnel, the Senator’s innovation pitch is tantamount to preaching to the choir.

But it would be a hard sell to the general public that see innovation as a threat to their livelihood and their individual careers that are at risk of vanishing due to the introduction of automative technology and artificial intelligence.

None of these anxieties were addressed in Senator Sinodinos’ talk, which is sure to frustrate people in industries that are feeling the ominous approach of potential job losses and the time consuming need to retrain in other areas.

Only time will tell how that pans out, but no matter what the Coalition government or any future Labor government does, it will have to deal with a significantly changing economy that will be good for some, and likely uncertain for others.

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