Are we playing with robots or against them?

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We are now fully emerged in the 4th Industrial Revolution and, over the next 20 years, this is going to have a massive impact on our working lives. What was once considered paradoxical is now a reality.

In 2018, the global unemployment level fell to 5.2%, the lowest in 38 years. And there is no denying the fact that a record number of robots (the age in which we currently live), would have had some impact on this. We’re moving in a high tech world! But before you think I’m being a profit of doom... because of this synchronicity there is also greater flexibility and accessibility, but we need to move with the current and not against it.

Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, predicts the following significant changes:

  • AI and robotics will ultimately create more work, not less.
  • There won’t be a shortage of jobs but – if we don’t take the right steps – a shortage of skilled talent to fill those jobs.
  • As remote work becomes the norm, cities will enter the talent wars of the future. Untethering work from place is going to give people new geographic freedom to live where they want, and cities and metropolitan regions will compete to attract this new mobile labour force.
  • The majority of the workforce will freelance by 2027
  • Technological change will keep increasing, so learning new skills will be an ongoing necessity throughout life.
  • The most constructive discussion is not whether there will or won’t be changes, but what we should do to ensure the best, most inclusive outcomes.

So, if you do fear that unemployment will steadily decline and the workforce will be replaced by robots, it needs to be recognised and accepted that the world IS going through significant and unprecedented change. Machines, automation and AI are part of this reality.

In an article on State of the Planet, by Renee Cho, she states that some animals can adapt to climate change. Animals can react to climate change in only three ways: they can move, adapt or die. It’s a dramatic analogy, but, much like the animals, we need to learn to adapt to our changing world of work.

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