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A look at human-machine partnerships in 2030
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A look at human-machine partnerships in 2030 

Are you worried that wide spread artificial intelligence adoption and the increasing use of robots will mean the end of your job? Various industries are certainly going to be disrupted, however, a recent study by technology company Dell, the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and 20 global experts indicates that the future may not be all that bleak.

“Human-machine partnerships won’t spell the end of human jobs, but work will be vastly different,” according to a report titled The next era of human|machine partnerships which posits what things may look like in the workplace by 2030.

The researchers explored how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, robotics as well as cloud computing are creating change. They came up with scenarios on how technology will reshape how we live, work and learn by 2030.

Among their key prognostics:

  • Entirely relationships with machines will surface as humans become increasingly reliant on them
  • Technology will work as an extension of people, helping orchestrate, manage and automate lives.
  • The workplace will become radically more efficient in terms of how it finds talent, manages teams, delivers products and services and enables workers to and steer their careers.
  • Organizations will lean on people that can exhibit certain attributes and skills to complement machines –
  • Workers will respond to this need by learning “in-the-moment”, while on the job.
  • Cloud technologies will be so embedded that memories from the pre-cloud era will feel positively archaic by comparison.

Multiple jobs, in-the-moment learning

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, today’s learners will have eight to 10 jobs by the time they are 38. Most will be freelancers. Some 50 million freelancers are projected to make up 50 per cent of the workforce in the United States by 2020.

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Most freelancers will not be able to rely on traditional HR departments, onboarding processes, and other processes associated with institutional work.

The experts that attended the IFTF workshop in March 2017 estimated that around 85 per cent of the jobs that today’s learners will be doing in 2030 hasn’t been invented yet.

“Workers in the gig economy will self-direct their wage,” said Eri Gentry of the Institute for the Future. “They’ll increase their salary by taking on jobs in which they can learn.”

He also said people will be “learning as they go and considering new avenues for their career.

“This will have wide-ranging implications—on work and educational establishments,” according to Gentry.

By 2030, workers will create new work infrastructures to acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to execute their work successfully. They will routinely improvise, learn from each other, and make their own way. Some will rely on past work experiences, frameworks, or mental models. Others will experiment across different platforms, discovering their own workarounds and pioneering their own innovations.

Work chasing people

As an extension of today’s “gig economy,” organizations will begin to automate how they source work and teams, according to the report. Companies will break up work into tasks.

“Instead of expecting workers to bear the brunt of finding work, work will compete for the best resource to complete the job,” according to the report.

Global experts foresee the rise of reputation engines, data visualization, and smart analytics that will enable organizations to search out individuals based on their skills and competencies.  

“The ability to orchestrate both physical and human resources will make it possible for organizations to activate, deactivate, and deploy resources to wherever and whenever they are needed,” the report said. “Not only will this make the organization leaner and more competitive, it will also reduce fixed costs and overheads, and place them on the path to becoming more agile and profitable.”

How people and organization will cope

For organizations, building technological capabilities will be key in 2030.

“Central to this will be recognizing that the threat of falling victim to security breaches is no longer a technology problem, but a business problem,” the report said. “Over the next decade, people will digitally transmit more and more traceable data, blending, in many cases, their physical and digital identities.”

Maintaining consumer trust will be vital. Organizations will need to show they are doing all they can to protect their customers’ data, said Zulfikar Ramzan, chief technology officer at RSA Security.

“Any ambitious enterprise will be truly a joint venture between business and security,” he said.

Organizations will also need to quickly ramp-up their internal competency to ensure that the growing number of algorithms that are running more and more aspects of their business align with their brands and values.

In 2030, the skills traditionally found in entrepreneurs will be fundamental for all workers.

Domain expertise, the combination of experience, context, and knowledge on how “things get done,” will continue to be a decidedly human trait over the next decade, according to the report.

Vision, perseverance, creative problem-solving, will be a critical trait for all workers to employ.

Passion, according to Brian Mullins, CEO, and co-founder of DAQRI, believes passion is a clear advantage that humans will have over machines.

“If you pick up a device and learn how to do something that you couldn’t do before, you could fire up a passion in people and that is what’s going to make a change in our world,” he said. “This is how the application of these technologies will solve even more interesting problems on a global scale.”

To read the full report, click here.

Author: Nestor Arellano

Nestor Arellano is  a seasoned media veteran who specializes in technology and business news. Before joining IT in Canada Nestor worked as a journalist for IT World Canada, Mortgage Broker News and Thomson Reuters. His work has also appeared in other major news and tech publications in Canada and the United States both in print and online. Nestor also regularly blogs and tweets on the latest technology trends and gadgets.

Follow on Twitter: @ITIC_NestorA

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