Coming soon to your CV “…works well with robots”
Way back in the mists of time – well, sometime in the mid ’60s – a new sci-fi series hit our TV screens.
Called ‘Lost in Space’, it charted the adventures of an interstellar version of Swiss Family Robinson who ended up stranded on a far-flung planet.
Nothing remarkable about that. But one member of the party was a robot, called imaginatively ‘Robot’, who was meant to wield superhuman strength and futuristic weaponry. Despite this, he seemed to spend most of his time flapping his extendible arms and shouting: “It does not compute”.
This was the robot of 1997 from the viewpoint of 1965.
“The next 20 years will see more change than the previous 300”
As wide of the mark as they were then, there are plenty of grounds for believing that in the next 10 to 20 years, we’ll all be working with robots on a daily basis. And rather more useful ones than they predicted in ’65.
In fact, there’s every justification for saying CVs of the future will contain the boast ‘…works well with robots’ as often as they now contain the phrase ‘enjoys socialising with friends’.
And that’s no idle observation. According to Doctor of Technology and TV presenter Spencer Kelly, the next 20 years will see more change than the previous 300. For instance, there’ll be less travelling – or at least commuting – thanks to systems such as Microsoft Teams/Huddle that take collaboration to the next level.
Hail the fourth Industrial Revolution
As we saw at the recent O2 Blue Door Conference, these big changes to come will be driven by three main factors: new technology, technology working together and problem-solving entrepreneurs. And it’s not just business that’ll be affected – society as a whole is changing as the fourth Industrial Revolution takes firm hold. A new chapter in human development and enabled by extraordinary technology, the fourth Industrial Revolution is already merging the physical, digital and biological worlds to exponentially increase the speed of change and redefine how organisations create value.
On a practical level, that’ll mean starting a business is easier since there’ll be more useful, relevant information out there. Services will be more easily available. And it’ll be simpler to find new customers. But at the same time it’ll be easier to fail thanks to tougher competition – not just for market share but for wallet share.
Having said that, digital tools can certainly enhance your chances of success. They can bring education, sharpen processes and spark inspiration within a business. Make it easier to reach out and get new customers on board. Cut the cost and set-up time of capital. And even help realise ideas faster, so time to market is reduced dramatically.
Upskill your people, upskill your organisation
Perhaps the biggest challenge organisations will face will be a skills shortage – in fact, we’re already seeing it in certain areas. Why? Because the education system simply hasn’t evolved and it needs to change if it’s to reflect exponential advances in society.
But organisations also have a role to play. They need to use online courses and set aside a little time each week to upskill staff. Embrace new ways of learning, like gamification. And work hard to enhance the education process.
Organisations that fail to do so and stick their heads in the sand are destined to become footnotes in history. Because the speed of change won’t slow, if anything, it’ll increase.
Singularity. ETA 2045.
In fact, the pace of technological change seems to be increasing exponentially – especially when it comes to computing power. Computers that beat humans at chess may be old news but Ray Kurzweil, Google’s Director of Engineering, predicts that singularity – the point at which the most advanced computers will outperform the human mind – will happen by 2045.
Then we’ll all have to work well with robots.