Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined a company that had a need for their skills. Careers lasted lifetimes.
Now, by my estimates, the half-life of a career is about 10 years. I expect that it will decrease, within a decade, to five years. Advancing technologies will cause so much disruption to almost every industry that entire professions will disappear. And then, in about 15–20 years from now, we will be facing a jobless future, in which most jobs are done by machines and the cost of basic necessities such as food, energy and health care is negligible — just as the costs of cellphone communications and information are today. We will be entering an era of abundance in which we no longer have to work to have our basic needs met. And we will gain the freedom to pursue creative endeavors and do the things that we really like.
Lately, media around the web has been bracing for robots — not time-traveling robots per se, but robot workers. Specifically, the increased sophistication of artificial intelligence and improved engineering of robotics has spurred a growing concern about what people are going to do when all the regular jobs are done by robots.
A variety of solutions have been proposed to this potential technological unemployment (we even had an entire Future of Work series dealing with this topic in March), many of which suggest that there will still be things that humans can do that robots can’t, but what are they? Read more
“The McKinsey study analyzes and forecasts the potential impact of so-called digital talent platforms. The report looks at three types of such platforms: job-finding and employee-seeking websites (such as Monster.com and LinkedIn); marketplaces for services (Uber and Upwork, for example); and data-driven talent discovery tools (like Evolv and Knack). By 2025, McKinsey estimates, these digital talent platforms could add $2.7 trillion a year to global gross domestic product, which would be the equivalent of adding another Britain to the world economy. And the digital tools, the report states, could benefit as many as 540 million people in various ways, including better matches of their skills with jobs, higher wages and shorter stints of unemployment.” Read more