LinkLog: The Future of Work

This whitepaper from Intel is a fascinating read.

On knowledge work:

Though there is still debate on the specific definition, knowledge work is generally seen as work that most leverages human intellect, creativity, and analytic skills. Trends are already indicating that a growing number of jobs will require a significantly more complex set of interdisciplinary skills such as problem solving, judgment, listening, data analysis, relationship building, collaborating and communicating with multinational co-workers.

Knowledge jobs are growing two and a half times faster than transactional jobs which involve fewer conceptual duties, and knowledge workers represent the fastest growing talent pool in most organizations.

Let us make a few assumptions:

  1. Anything that can be automated may be automated sooner or later. Automation is one of the biggest job killers. The good part is that humans hopefully need to do less boring and repetitive work, just to make a living. The bad part is that many people who depend on these types of jobs for livelihood need to figure out how to make a living. Another assumption worth making is that the benefits of automation are not necessarily going to be uniformly distributed (a kind of Benefit Asymmetry).
  2. Every technology development – Big Data, Sensor Evolution, Robotics etc. will start chipping away at jobs. Some may even impact knowledge workers.
  3. Our current educational system is not well equipped to deal with changes. That is another disruption looming in the horizon and it will affect over 60 million teachers in some way or other.

The question that keeps bugging me is that how can we help prepare for the future, especially when we don’t know what it is going to be.