If you’re unlucky enough not to have retired by 2050, the working world will be a very different place to how it is today. The vision of the future for workers tends to scale from a nihilistic view of the robots taking our jobs (leaving us permanently trapped indoors, living entirely from Amazon Prime supplies), through to the utopia of the eradication of repetitive tasks using artificial intelligence.
This will leave humans free to think, create and act (while never needing to leave your home…thanks to improved teleworking and those highly convenient Amazon delivery drones).
But what do the experts think it will really be like?
The power is in your hands
In decades past, palms and fingers were scanned for identification. Now, hands with implanted sensors become the scanners themselves. These implants come in different models with two main variations: first, a simple scanner for daily use.
It helps to read different tags and product codes, and to exchange digital business cards via the handshake ritual (you can use face recognition to identify a stranger but this is considered indecent; besides, many people use protection to prevent recognition. Hats with special veils are popular). Second, sophisticated scanners for technicians and other professionals.
For example, a doctor’s hand includes various medical sensors for diagnostics – even a portable endoscope with a direct video stream to the doctor’s visual cortex.
Predicted by: Mersey Shelley is a pseudonym of Alexey Andreyev, writer and futurologist, who works for Kaspersky. This prediction is from his cyberpunk novel ‘2048’ published in 2004.
Robots have rights too
We see a picket line of robots in the city center. Their placards are plastered with slogans written in binary code. The widespread development of robots and artificial intelligence have necessitated the creation of a legal framework to protect them to regulate the rights of intelligent robots. Subsequently, this code is constantly updated and improved so robots have improving rights in our society.
Predicted by: Ian Pearson. Ian has been a full-time futurologist for over 25 years, tracking and predicting developments across a wide range of technology, business, society, politics and the environment.
Machines will do all the work that humans do in 2050
In 2017, a group of researchers at the British “Oxford” University and the American “Yale” University issued a joint study based on a survey of 352 experts in “Machine Learning” and “Artificial Intelligence”. There is a 50% chance that artificial intelligence will outperform human intelligence in all fields within 45 years from now.
According to a study by the World Economic Forum recently circulated by news agencies, the rate of “automation” in all types of jobs will rise to 52% by 2025.
The study found that robots will eliminate about 85 million jobs in medium and large-sized companies over the next five years.
Everything will be ‘smart’ – connected and data-driven. The vast majority of us will continue working the same way we are today, but the jobs on offer will be ones that haven’t yet been invented. Emotional intelligence and ‘human’ skills such as perpetual learning will be crucial for leaders to possess, as well as fluency with the latest technologies.
Work will increasingly become more fluid as some employees will be virtual, some will be full-time, some will be bots, and we will all be working non-fixed hours. As with any kind of change, there will be pros and cons. Those who work in routine jobs are likely to struggle to make sure they can stay relevant in the new world of work.
The advantage is that this will give us more time to focus on the human aspects of work such as building relationships, being creative, deep thinking, and practicing skills like empathy and self-awareness. Technology will help us make organizations more personable. This also means that we need to get more comfortable with using technology such as bots and AI in our work, a cause of tension and fear for some.
Predicted by: Jacob Morgan is a best-selling author, speaker, futurist and founder of FutureOfWorkUniversity.com.
Robots are less expensive and more efficient
The reason for adopting the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and cutting people off at work is due to two main factors: cost and efficiency.
Put simply, jobs that require repetitive tasks and repetitive bodily motions, as well as jobs that require little independent decision-making on the job, can be completed more efficiently by robots and machines, and at a lower cost than human employees.
Machines also make fewer mistakes than humans, need no breaks or vacations, and can meet the same or higher quality standards as humans produce in these jobs.
This means that companies will reduce the costs that they were paying in addition to achieving an increase in production and better quality, and of course customers and customers will benefit from high-quality products, at a lower price, as recently reported by the “irishtechnews” platform.
Hollywood movies are just a pessimistic fantasy
Societies have also developed, particularly around the concepts of the relationship between people and their work.
It seems a frightening idea that technology will take the place of people at work, and Hollywood authors have created horrific scenes of the future where humans and machines fight against each other for survival, but technology was created for the comfort and well-being of humans, and every new invention throughout history led to human development and prosperity, since the discovery of fire until the invention of electricity and the Internet.
However, there are many good reasons to believe that the Fourth Industrial Revolution – defined by automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies – will not follow a similar path as previous revolutions.
It is widely expected that the new jobs and occupations that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will create are going to be far fewer than the ones it will eliminate, and more aggressive predictions give humans a 50-50 chance of replacing all human work with technology before 2050.