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The Future of Jobs

In a world of exponential change, standing still is not an option. In the last couple of years, advancements in the fields of robotics, machine learning, and AI have enabled us to successfully teach machines to learn. And, to learn routine tasks quickly.

As a consequence, uncertainty about the future of human employment in the age of automation has become an important subject of conversation. And, machines are just going to keep getting better and better.

This incredible rate of data creation is even doubling every 1.5 years thanks to the Internet. This trinity of access, data, and speed creates new opportunities for platform innovation.

  • It’s not just the robots, the bots are coming too. AI is now able to perform tasks like visual perception, speech recognition, routine decision-making, and language translation.
  • Everything will become intelligent; soon we will not only have smartphones, but also smart homes, smart factories, and smart cities. Will we use these developments to make smarter nations and a healthier planet?

 

Design and Entrepreneurship will become two of the top skills that workers will need. With new products, technologies and new ways of working, leaders will need to constantly learn new skills and become more innovative in the way they combine these changes. Work will be mostly about exploration and defining problems in a data-informed and driven world.

From Degree Gathering to Continuous Learning

People have developed the expectation, that you can get your certificate or degree and then supposedly you’re done. In the world that we’ve living in today, that doesn’t work. The current setup does not reflect our evolving world. The continuous learning approach, in contrast to degree-oriented education, represents an important shift that is desperately needed in education.

It also reflects the demands of the labor market. Where easy access to lifelong learning and interdisciplinary skills are what will keep an individual motivated to progress.

Given the pace of automation and advancement in artificial and robotic intelligence is fast and unpredictable, it is impossible to know the broad impacts it will have on employment. But, it will be massively disruptive.

  • McKinsey & Co. predicts that 45 percent of jobs today will be automated out of existence in only 20 years.
  • The World Economic Forum estimates that 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.
  • A Chinese factory in Dongguan City has recently replaced 90 percent of its human workforce with machines, and it led to a staggering 250 percent increase in productivity and a significant 80 percent drop in defects.

Working with Robots

All work can be divided into four types: routine and nonroutine, cognitive and manual. Within these two varieties, is the non-routine work that requires mostly our brains (cognitive) and bodies (manual). And, this is where the greatest economic opportunities exist. Because it is more easy to imagine the jobs that will be lost, than to imagne the jobs that will be created.

  • The field of artificial intelligence is making breathtaking advances. One thing is clear: the way in which we organize the economy and society will change fundamentally.
  • Automation, Augmentation, and assistance will unlock a new class of producers and create some many impactful companies.

 

In the United States, there are currently just 1.75 robots for every 1,000 workers. However, this number moving higher at a fast pace. Some economists expect it to multiply another four times by 2025 to 5.25 robots per 1,000 humans.

With this change, many jobs will be automated, others augmented and entirely new industries will emerge. To compete for the jobs of the future, people will need to have confidence in a mechanism for self-determination to adapt quickly.

Assistance, Augmentation, and Automation

Tech enhancement should be seen through a framework of three ‘A’s — assistance, augmentation, and automation — forces that have been quietly gaining momentum over the last couple of years and which are likely to go mainstream very soon.

Assitance

  • Automated software applications to assist human users with voice search and retrieval are improving. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is designed to perform tasks, the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be designed to collect all the information needed for learning and informing.
  • Significant breakthroughs in natural language and speech processing by using deep learning algorithms means that intelligence built-in voice assistant will be a new reality soon. And, we’ll be able to give it voice commands with almost 99.9% efficiency. Amazon’s Echo and its Alexa voice recognition software is leading this industry
  • Research organization Tractica forecasts 1.8 billion consumer users of virtual assistants worldwide by 2021 and 843 million enterprise users.

 

Augmentation

  • Augmentation, on the other hand, enhances our core capabilities by providing contextual support to do a cognitive and manual task. While robots and technology should free us from day-to-day routine tasks, we should become better informed and capable of exploring and defining new problems.
  • As a new “virtualized infrastructure” gets built out, cloud computing, big data, and the internet of things will employ millions of people, support a robust workforce of data scientists and unlock new platform opportunities. Experts predict that up to 25 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in place within a few years. 

Automation

  • This will happen to routine labor because it is easiest for technology to shoulder. Rules can be written for work that doesn’t change, and that work can be better handled by machines.
  • For example, all of this means the replacement of truckers is inevitable. It is not a matter of “if”, it’s only a matter of “when.” So the question then becomes, how long until millions of truckers are freshly unemployed and what happens to them?

 

In many industries, we will see automation, while in others augmentation. The exact degree to which a job will be impacted depends on the level of cognitive decision making versus data-driven models, and the degree to which all inputs can be digitized.

Augmentation will enhance the nature of work and learning, while automation will displace some workers.

New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology

According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, entrepreneurs and innovation leaders will need more than traditional academic learning to solve problems in the 21st Century. With this forward-thinking report, they have noted 6 character qualities needed for continuous learning, required to navigate through the pace of exponential technology and unstructured problems.

        • Curiosity
        • Initiative
        • Persistence, Grit
        • Adaptability
        • Leadership
        • Social and Cultural Awareness