HELLO ROBOTS. GOODBYE JOBS?
Have you ever had your mind blown for 48 consecutive hours in a row?
C Minds had the incredible opportunity of taking part in one of the world’s most inspiring events created by one of the world’s most disruptive organizations. The Singularity University Mexico Summit took place during the 8th and 9th of November in the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta. One of the first talks was given by Anousheh Ansari from Telecom Technologies, who proved to all of us that our childhood dreams should not be given up on and that the sky’s the limit! As a little girl in Iran, she dreamed of reaching the stars. Years later, she’d become the first female space tourist. Other amazing speakers included Tiffany Vora from Singularity University who had us on the edge of our seats telling us about the current, yet very futuristic state of gene editing as well as Andrew Fursman from 1QBit who left us all feeling somewhat uneasy after his talk on Quantum Computing, which not only made us rethink the sustainability of our entire digital systems but also had us wonder if, maybe, we were living in the matrix.
All the talks were centered around the main topic of disruptive innovation. Unlike incremental innovation, which is about making things better and faster, disruptive innovation is a game changer. Disruptive innovation happens with exponential technologies, which Peter Diamandis, one of the founders of the NASA-based organization, defines as those that will take us from scarcity to abundance.
Did you know that the percent of the world population living in extreme poverty dropped from over 90% in the 1820s to just above 10% in 2016? Technology has had a huge role in that drastic, inspiring change.
We went to the event with a few questions in mind. One of the main ones: are our jobs truly at risk? Will we be replaced by robots? Surely, we got answers.
Let’s start by looking at the data surrounding the automation of jobs and activities. How are the most industrialized countries in the world doing? They’re actually leading the polls with the lowest unemployment rates. Looking at Europe, the countries with the lowest unemployment rate predictions for 2016 were Austria (5.7%), Germany (6.4%) and the Netherlands (6.5), all some of Europe’s most industrialized and technology-open nations. Greece, Spain and Cyprus, some of Europe’s least industrialized nations, however, were lagging behind with predicted unemployment rates of respectively 25.4%, 20.3% and 15%. We might want to reconsider the idea that technology is bad for jobs!
So how are these 4th industrial revolution elements such as AI going to affect our jobs?
Firstly, this entire new paradigm will create new jobs, just like industrial revolutions in the past have. Did you know what a community manager was five years ago? Did you ever imagine the world might need autonomous car programmers a decade ago? What if you were to become a chatbot language trainer? These are all jobs that are being created as we speak. They’re replacing jobs that will disappear.
Secondly, the inspiring David Roberts, from Exponential Leadership, believes there is a reason we should actually be excited about the advent of robots. According to him, robots will free us from tasks and jobs that are money related, giving us time to pursue our passions. Jobs of the future will not be factory jobs, where humans are reduced to the state of machines and desperation, but rather we will strive and be empowered to find jobs we love.
The future is an exciting place, not one we should be fearful of. The question we’ve had at C Minds, however, is how can we best prepare for the transition? How can we prepare for those new jobs we know nothing about yet? How can we be part of the transformation?
We believe the key will be resilience and that’s why we have created Academy for Resilience.
For us, being resilient means two thing.
Number one, being technology literate. If you understand the new technologies coming about and their potential, you can imagine and take steps towards a future where you work with that technology, rather than worry about a future where the technology works without you.
Number two, developing the soft skills the future will need from humans. Leadership, storytelling, empathy, these are skills that are scarce today but that we want to disseminate rapidly among current and future leaders so they can bring about a world where technology is used for the greater good.
Stay in tune with C Minds through social media and the website to find out about the workshops we will be giving next year through our Academy for Resilience!