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In the future, most repetitive or machine-like tasks and jobs will be largely offloaded to ultra-smart software and intelligent machines, wether in the manufacturing, financial services, government, transportation or technology sectors. By 2025, up to 45% of jobs might be automated-away in many sectors making a redefinition of ‘work’ and jobs an urgent priority for governments, industry and educators alike. Gerd believes that the trend away from the jobs-that-robots-can-and-will-do will also free us up to re-focus on those tasks that only us humans can do. Skills or character traits such as creativity, pattern recognition, imagination and storytelling will once again become increasingly important as machines are not yet suited to tackle them, at least in the foreseeable future. As an example, whereas travel agents used to spent the majority of their time searching databases for hotels and flights in the past, they are now focusing on putting highly-tailored travel packages together and offering personalised advice – the basic database of flights and hotels is available to everyone, now. This trend towards the right brain will of course pose significant challenges to those who were used to doing pure ‘human computing’ tasks such as statistics and data analysis, or that were employed in mostly repetitive manufacturing environments. In the future, we are very likely to see what Gerd calls ‘workupation’ and quite possibly a lot more debate on the concept of the guaranteed minimum income in response to rampant ‘technological unemployment’.
See Gerd’s Pinterest pics on the future of work
Watch Gerd’s keynote speech on Work, Learning and Living in the Future
Read Gerd’s latest guest post on “The future of knowledge in the coming era of intelligent machines” (The Guardian May 12 2014)
Take a look at Gerd’s previous posts on the future of work and jobs (FuturistGerd.com)