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Future of Work

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Independent publication by 06 / 12 / 2015 # 350 raconteur.net FUTURE of WORK Can machines 'learn' or 'think'? 03 Computing power and data have given birth to artificial intelligence, transferring labour pains to the world of work Technology suits the task 04 Wearable technology has the potential to revolutionise the workplace and make a significant return on investment 8 trends to look out for 02 Bold new technologies reshaping work are either already here or within touching distance 'Work anywhere' business… 06 Organisations that encourage employees to use their own technology for work can reap rewards A revolution is changing how we work Rapid change, driven by advancing technology and the 'march of the robots', is accelerating to revolutionise how we spend our working lives OVERVIEW ALEC MARSH I t was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." The opening line of George Orwell's great novel 1984 sets up a caution - ary tale of how the future could look. In its way, what we're confronting in 2020 is every bit as chilling, but it is also an exciting time of opportunity. Yet, just as the clocks "were striking thir - teen", there could be alarming changes at work in the name of progress. "Within the next five years, 20 per cent of all the jobs that exist today will have been automated away," claims futurologist Rohit Talwar. "By ten years that could be at least 50 per cent and by 20 years, 80 per cent." And it's not just scary trousers time for the worker bees, either; busi - nesses have got to move fast, too. "If you look at Fortune 500, there's an awful lot of dead men walking," cautions Mr Talwar, who has worked with BAE Systems, DHL, PwC, Shell and others. And the same goes for their chief executives, 70 per cent of whom, he predicts, will not be in post come January 1, 2020. Because either they'll be gone – or their businesses will. At the heart of this change are technology and the advance of artificial intelligence (AI), which will eradicate the need for millions of back-office staff and knowledge workers, including even doctors, just as advances in telephony eliminated switchboard operators from Sidney to Seattle over the last 15 years. The AI doctor might not have the same bedside manner, but it'll diagnose just as accurately as the human variety – maybe even better – and it'll work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without holiday, sick leave or pension. The opportunity for busi- ness is massive. And AI isn't happening in a vacuum; it's being accelerated by the sharing potential of the internet and big data. "New technologies diffuse across the world much, much faster than technologies did in the past," says Carl Frey from Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. "The fact that more things are becoming more digi - tal and can be transmitted at very low costs almost instantaneously anywhere in the world is the main contributor to that change." Digitalisation, he adds, "creates powerful data which is the enabler of the expanding scope of automation". There's a generational shift, too. Generation Y, those born from about 1980 to 2000 and also known as millennials, are coming of age. And they see the world differently. Not for them the distant, analogue memories of black-and-white televi - sions the size of a Mini Metro or rotary dial tele- phones that could break your arm. "There's a new breed coming through," says Mr Talwar, "people who were born digital and don't see cars, houses and hospitals – all they see is a universe of data. They believe that every problem can be solved by getting the data, managing it, applying the right algo - rithms and then underpinning it with the right technology." Which is why Google believes it can go from search engines to extending your life expectancy to 500 years – and providing you with a driverless car along the way. For Dr Frey the pace of change is systemic. "I don't think that people today are more creative Although this publication is funded through advertising and sponsorship, all editorial is without bias and sponsored features are clearly labelled. For an upcoming schedule, partnership inquiries or feedback, please call +44 (0)20 3428 5230 or e-mail info@raconteur.net Raconteur is a leading publisher of special-interest content and research. Its publications and articles cover a wide range of topics, including business, finance, sustainability, healthcare, lifestyle and technology. Raconteur special reports are published exclusively in The Times and The Sunday Times as well as online at raconteur.net The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources the Proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher. © Raconteur Media Distributed in CHARLES ARTHUR Author of Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Inter- net, he is a freelance science and technolo- gy journalist. DAN MATTHEWS Journalist and author of The New Rules of Business, he writes for newspapers, mag- azines and websites on a range of issues. JANE BIRD Award-winning free- lance business and technology journalist, she is a regular con- tributor to the Finan- cial Times and writes for The Economist Intelligence Unit. CHARLES ORTON-JONES Award-winning journalist, he was editor-at-large of LondonlovesBusiness. com and editor of EuroBusiness. DEREK DU PREEZ Freelance writer, he specialises in enter- prise software and public-sector IT, and contributes to com- puting publications. SAM SHAW Freelance writer and editor, she covers a wide range of topics including business, finance, technology and travel. GABE ZICHERMANN Author of Gamifica- tion by Design 2, he is chief executive of consultancy Dopa- mine and chairman of GSummit. ALEC MARSH Writer and award-winning editor, he contributes to The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Mail and The Spectator. CONTRIBUTORS BUSINESS CULTURE FINANCE HEALTHCARE LIFESTYLE SUSTAINABILITY TECHNOLOGY INFOGRAPHICS raconteur.net/future-of-work-2015 RACONTEUR Publishing Manager Richard Sexton Digital Manager Rebecca McCormick Head of Production Natalia Rosek Design Grant Chapman Kellie Jerrard Samuele Motta MOST WIDELY USED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS BY ENTERPRISES DEFINING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Source: Narrative Science 2015 Source: Narrative Science 2015 At the heart of this change are technology and the advance of artificial intelligence, which will eradicate the need for millions of back-office staff and knowledge workers Share this article on social media via raconteur.net or more innovative than people in the past," he says. "There's simply more people and we have better ways of interacting with each other than in the past, and that reaches critical mass." And that critical mass is coming, like an express train. But don't cancel the tennis club membership just yet as most jobs won't disappear. Many will change. Doctors, for instance, may spend more time on patient care, leaving the robots to the diagnosis, while lawyers may have more time for more clients, allowing clever AI soft - ware to do the boring reading for them. And while the latest technology rev- olution is creating far fewer direct jobs than those of the 1980s and 1990s, Dr Frey points to evidence that every new tech worker sup - ports some five jobs in services, which offers opportunities too. One thing is certain, technology will im- pinge on our working lives in ever greater ways and restructure our work fundamental- ly. "We're going to have a more project-based economy in the future than we've been used to," says Dr Frey. "Our parents had careers, we have jobs and our children will have gigs." He envisages armies of people working on projects from cafés, their homes and some - times an office. And many of them are al- ready at a Starbucks near you, nursing a long- cold coffee as they tap at their laptops. "They will need to be much more adaptable to new technologies arriving to remain competitive in the labour market," adds Dr Frey. And that's because companies are leading the headlong march towards automation, because they have to, to survive. Some may even go the whole hog and become entire - ly automated business units existing only in software. Rumour has it that some large compa- nies think they can automate themselves to about 20 per cent of their current workforce over the next five years, which means they'll be leaner than the competition. It's like the no-frills airline battle of the last 20 years, but on a much larger canvas, and it's all driven by the digital art of the possible. And unsurprisingly not everyone will make it. "A lot of big companies will just disappear without trace," cautions Mr Talwar. "They will be the Pan Ams and TWAs of the modern era. It's really hard to hear that you're basi - cally the band on the Titanic when you're the CEO or exec team of an organisation." So if you don't want the music to stop on your watch, here's some advice from the ex - perts: you have about three years to get your act together, to start embracing the new technologies and restructuring your busi- ness around them. Not for nothing did Roy Kurzweil, the inventor and Google engineer, famously forecast back in 2001 that the equivalent of the last 20,000 years of progress would be packed into the next 100 years. So what are you doing today? Enterprise leaders define artificial intelligence as... 32% Voice recognition and response solutions 24% Machine learning 15% Virtual personal assistants 8% Systems used for decision support 5% 5% Analytics-focused applications Automated written reporting and/or communications 4% Robotics 8% All of the above Technology that thinks and acts like humans Technology that can learn to do things better over time All of the above 31% 25% Turing test of whether a machine is "intelligent" 1.5% Other 3% Technology that can answer questions for me 4% Technology that can understand language 7% 28.5% Production Editor Benjamin Chiou Managing Editor Peter Archer

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