Tomorrow’s world will certainly be different from today – we will move about in driverless vehicles, interact with our family robots, manage our health through wearable technology and probably spend even more time watching videos of cats ….
This may all sound rather far-fetched but Sasha Kazantseva from startupme.com, our speaker at yesterday’s WDF meeting kindly sponsored by Appleby, really opened our eyes to the fact that the rate of technological change is speeding up exponentially and we are entering the third industrial revolution.
So what does that mean for us? The probability is the job we are doing now won’t exist in 10 years’ time and what we know now will be outdated by 2020. New industries will be created requiring new skills, work and life will blur together as we each become “Me Ltd”. Our houses will cease to be our main investment as we spend increasing portions of our income on our own learning and development, while at the same time, education will become increasingly free and open sourced.
Life will be constant learning and constant experimentation.
Work places will be unrecognisable from today’s offices, working from anywhere, hang out spaces with no desks and interactive surfaces as people “work swarm” in response to projects. The “Freetainers”, working on zero hours contracts by choice, will live globally interacting with each other through virtual technology, using brain waves to control computers. Further in the future we will encounter cyber enhanced humans able to achieve levels of mental and physical acuity which eclipse anything humans have previously known, pitted against artificial intelligence set to outsmart humans by 2029.
Richard Sheldon, Employment Specialist from Appleby pointed out one of the impacts for Guernsey as borders become virtual opening up the possibility for even more outsourcing to the developing world as well as creating opportunities for Guernsey people to sell their services globally.
In the shorter term as routine we will rate our fellow workers with crowd sourced appraisals, brainstorm ideas via social media and monitor influence through social network analysis, while gamification will blur the lines further between learning, working and living.
As the Baby Boomers retire and the soaring numbers of Millennials enter the workforce across the developing world, the old ways of doing business will be swept away by a tsunami of change.
In the past we have been very bad at predicting the future, mainly because we simply cannot envisage a world much different to today, but in 1999 Ray Kurzweil successfully predicted many of the technological advances we enjoy today, so the above is based on some of his predictions for the next 5 – 15 years.
Our audience at WDF also made their predictions for the future, which we will time capsule and bring out again in 2020. Maybe because the majority of the audience were women, cleaning robots topped the bill, a few of the other predictions included: –
- 3D printing our own false teeth
- The ability to change the weather
- Children won’t learn to write anymore
- Schools and universities will be flexible online resources available anytime
- Everything available online – no shops
- Technological ways to control our bad habits
- Focus on social interaction to combat technological immersion
- More mental health providers to combat our increasingly tech addictions
The parting message was we all need to be constantly learning and embrace new technology, if we want to stay relevant and remain employable in tomorrow’s very different world.
3D printing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx0Z6LplaMU
Interactive surfaces – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfgmlVxLC9w&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL363989F7BCF53A36