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Automation

What's Happening? - Automation

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Please see below some of the more thoughtful and significant recent headlines about the ongoing and accelerating automation of work (new content in bold).

 

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

ETHICAL WILL TRUMP TECHNICAL?

An associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University, showed that in recent years, many jobs requiring only mathematical skills have been automated. Bank tellers and statistical clerks have suffered. Roles which require predominantly social skills (childcare workers, for example) tend to be poorly paid as the supply of potential workers is very large.

 

 

July-August-September 2016

  • Outsourcing is being disrupted by the innovations in robotic process automation, which could cut labour costs and free workers from boring tasks. The implications of this are discussed in a new Raconteur report along with how outsourcing is no longer reserved for big corporations as more start-ups and small business are realising the advantages to be had.
  • In the next few decades, about 56% of all salaried workers in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam could be displaced by automation and advanced technologies, such as 3D printing. That at least is the conclusion of an extensive series of new studies by the International Labour Organisation.

August 2015

 

July 2015

 

 

 

 

What Happened? - Work

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about work. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

 

December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

  • A new book, The Refusal of Work, argues that the time has to come to challenge the work-centred nature of society. The author, David Frayne, an academic who looks at consumerism and radical approaches to work, describes the powerful view that jobs are an expression of our creativity and selves. There is for some, a religious devotion to work. He writes: “Gratifying work is a fantasy that we have all been trained to invest in, ever since our teachers and parents asked us what we wanted to ‘be’ when we grew up.” Moreover, he argues that “those activities and relationships that cannot be defended in terms of economic contribution are being devalued and neglected”. How different this is from economist John Maynard Keynes’s prediction in 1930 that in 100 years we would devote most of our week to leisure. 

 

  • Real estate billionaire Jeff Greene warned that technology will kill white-collar jobs. He says new forms of technology will only exacerbate the growing gap between the rich and the poor, because, he claims, we have left ourselves unprepared for the inevitable automation of many jobs traditionally done by humans. He said: “What globalisation did to blue collar jobs and the working class economy over the past 30 or 40 years, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics will do to the white collar economy - and at a much, much faster pace.”

 

 

 

What's Happening? - Work

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Please see below selected recent intelligence about work. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

 

June 2016

 

 

  • Asking "what’s the future of the workplace?", an MIT professor predicted that new technologies will enable more decentralised decision making and ultimately more freedom in business.

 

 

 

What Happened? - Automation

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In the distant future, no one needs to work. Energy is available wherever people can set up a solar panel, windmill, or hydro-turbine. Artificial Intelligence (AI) units, distant descendants of today’s 3D printers, are capable of producing anything a person can program into them. Just by asking, anyone can have anything they want. People trade energy credits or donate energy to projects that interest them.

See for example HBR on "Computers Create Jobs and Inequality at the Same Time".

 

What Happened? - Automation

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Please see below selected recent intelligence about the ongoing and accelerating automation of work .

June 2016

 

  • Asking "what’s the future of the workplace?", an MIT professor predicted that new technologies will enable more decentralised decision making and ultimately more freedom in business.