Marten Bütow
25. July 2017 0

Work in 2027 – fighting artificial intelligence

Work in 2027 – what does the future hold? If you believe the analysts at Gartner, wearables, augmented reality, digital assistants, and even robo-bosses will play a role in the future. Every year, the IT fortunetellers conjure up a very interesting mixture, and combine current possibilities with ongoing future projects and a pinch of fantasy. In other words, the ingredients for predicting a conceivable future. But let’s be honest: Nobody can see what is yet to come. I certainly can’t. But let’s run with it anyway.

First let’s take a look back

Our journey through time begins in 2007. Ten years ago. It feels like we are still in the present era: We search the Internet on Google and shop at Amazon. Yet Amazon Web Services only began a year ago and hardly anybody knows what cloud computing is. Steve Jobs is still alive and Apple releases the first iPhone on June 29. Uber and Snapchat? What are they?

A brief stopover in today’s world: The cloud is here; we are talking to Alexa

Now, in 2017, Amazon has shaken up the IT market. If you want to be taken seriously in the IT scene, you need to be an expert in the omnipresent cloud. The iPhone is in its 15th generation with the 7 Plus. Android has long had a huge stake in the smartphone market (and has just overtaken Windows as the Internet’s most used operating system). We have stopped shaking our heads at people who wear Bluetooth headsets and appear to be talking to themselves in public places. Some people have gone a step further and talk TO their devices via Alexa or Cortana. Digital assistants are helpful to a certain extent.

2027: Working becomes simpler yet tougher

In 2027 there will be two distinct trends: Software and devices will make work easier. Or, conversely, we humans will be in a constant race with services designed to replace us. For instance, intelligent personal assistants in customer service – not just via the Internet, but physical bots in real life beyond vehicle production lines.  For research, maintenance, transport, etc. Wherever people are still doing physically exhausting, dangerous or responsible jobs (bus drivers, firemen, police, etc.), they will be supported by wearables, digital assistants, and augmented reality.

Those still using a keyboard will be considered old-fashioned (the last manufacturers will close their doors in 2033; there will be a brief retro-boom in 2038). Voice recognition and gesture control will make people part of the Web. “Always on” will be more than just a watchword, it will be reality. The number of office spaces will fall dramatically because most people will work wherever it suits them. Smart property owners will rent workspaces by the hour – of course including high-speed Internet (1 Gbit?), screens and cameras for input and output/virtual meetings in the cloud. Plus physical Coffee as a Service (there is no getting around this, not even in 2027 ;)) brewed by a networked full-service machine and delivered to your desk by a robot. Hopefully in a fully recyclable container.

Efficiency becomes critical to success

I am pretty sure you won’t hold it against me in 2027 if things I’ve predicted in this article doesn’t quite come true. Besides, it will be tucked away in the abyss of the dusty Web archive. But we can probably go on record and say that work will become more flexible and finding a permanent circle of employees with their own human value proposition will probably keep us more occupied than work itself. After all, the latest intelligent assistant will be just around the corner and efficiency will be a critical factor for success.  We hope that despite technological innovations, humans will continue to play a key role in work. Let’s find sensible ways to work with robo-bosses.

Our white paper entitled En route to the Liquid Work Era portrays the work situation in a slightly less visionary way. You can download it for free here.

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