In 2013, Frey & Osborne came to a startling conclusion about the impact of automation, the process of substituting human labour with robotics or artificial intelligence: 47% of current US occupations are at high risk of being replaced by machines. This revived a timeless debate that has pervaded recent history.
Will the future of work be a utopia or a dystopia? Will technology augment or replace us? Will the workplace be transformed? In this series, find sketches and short fictions to explore the subject with a different angle.
Technology was supposed to usher in a leisure-filled utopia for workers. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, many workers find themselves increasingly caught up in and connected to their work when they leave the office and go home, or even on vacation.
Do gamification, making connections, and the algorithms that power finding matches hold the same potential to change the way we find and accept jobs that they did for finding and accepting dates?
What to do about data privacy in the age of analytics? How should companies balance their desire to track their employees’ activities and productivity with employee demands (and potentially, even the right?) to privacy at work, and autonomy of action? Tracking and data gathering may provide valuable insights to employers and incentivize greater productivity, but might also lead to self-censorship at work by employees that ultimately stifles creative thinking and problem-solving.
What does it mean to be a freelancer today? Often operating as small business owners and working with little to no protection, freelancers lack a clear understanding of the legal and administrative policies of the country they work in, and what distinguishes them from the traditional labor market.
Will the day come when coders feel tempted to smash their computers, sabotage their own programs, and fight to save their jobs from being done by the very software and machines that they created? Or will human oversight always be necessary?