The world of work is changing. A new machine age, powered by advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and digital platforms, promises to transform a variety of occupations and sectors. But is this a future to fear or welcome?
Tuesday, 10th July 2018 at 18:00 – 19:00 London – GMT (13:00 – 14:00 New York / 20:00 – 21:00 Geneva)
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From robotics that can pick and pack goods in warehouses with acute precision, to algorithms in healthcare that can diagnose cancers as accurately as trained pathologists, few corners of our economy will be left untouched by the new machine age.
While jobs are unlikely to disappear on the scale some forecast, they will almost certainly evolve. So too will the composition of our labour market, as jobs in automatable sectors like manufacturing shrink while jobs in healthcare and education continue to expand. Decisions over who is recruited, how performance is monitored, and how businesses arrange their workforce, are all set to be influenced by the advent of radical technologies.
Will technologies like AI and robotics exacerbate economic inequality, deepen geographic divisions and entrench discrimination in the workplace? Or can they be wielded to create a better world of work – one that is more humane, productive and purposeful? And, to the extent that automation does occur, what measures can be taken to mitigate its risks and harness its opportunities?
This article is syndicated under the Creative Commons license from the UK’s RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)
To learn more about RSA’s work on the future of work go to their Future Work Centre.