Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Future of Work is Human + Machine

Learned a lot lending an editorial hand here:

Boss Magazine, May 2018

by David Mallon

The debate surrounding today’s smart machines often reminds me of the legend of John Henry, which dates from the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution. You may remember John Henry as the “steel-driving man” who went head-to-head against a steam-powered hammer to prove that a man could outperform a machine. He won the contest, but his heart burst in the effort and John Henry died.

In the modern version of that American folktale, machines are coming to take away our jobs again. This time, it is robotics, artificial intelligence, and other digital technologies that will supposedly transform our companies into employee-less buildings filled with automatons. However, as I read through our research at Bersin and the thought leadership being produced throughout Deloitte, I’m seeing a very different story.

For instance, when our Deloitte colleagues analyzed the impact of automation and robotics in the UK from 2001 to 2015, they discovered that more than 800,000 jobs had been lost, but nearly 3.5 million new jobs had been created. Moreover, on average, those new jobs paid nearly £10,000 more annually than the lost jobs.

Based on findings like these, I’ve become convinced that the real story is not an adversarial one in which human is pitted against machine. Instead, the future of work is a story of an augmented workforce—a story of human + machine.

There will be disruptions in the augmented workplace, too. To be able to successfully navigate them, companies and employees will need to act in ways that help ensure human + machine adds up to a sum greater than its the rest here

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