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The Ongoing Debate Around the Future of Work

Last week’s video sparked a bit of debate around the actual need for everybody to learn to code when we shared a video arguing that the movement where all kids need to learn to code is misguided. Today, we’re sharing another video on a topic with varying opinions between economists and futurists — the future of work and whether or not there will still be a place for humans.

As automation continues to grow, so do fears that jobs will fade. Take self-checkouts at stores as an example. These raise controversy as some consumers believe the machines are taking jobs from humans, where the other side will argue they’re creating different types of jobs and the economy will grow. The latter concept is explained further in this video by Vox. It looks at historical data, talks to economists, and provides theories as to why the future of work is only looking bright, even with more and more robots coming in. That said, a scroll through the comments shows equally valid arguments as to why the outlook is looking grim.

What do you think the real future of work will be?

The Internet Will Be Unhackable by 2034

At least that’s what Futurism predicts in this timeline of the future of technology. They say that “a satellite network using entangled photons for quantum key distribution (QKD) will create a full secure, unhackable internet.” That’s among many other exciting/scary/far-fetched predictions, including underwater cities by 2055!

Whether or not you believe this infographic, it’s fun to look at and many of the predictions are believable. Do you think we’ll be mining active submarine volcanoes in 10 years or buying holographic pets in 2041?

More Tech Trends to Expect Before the Year’s Through

Regardless of how intrenched you are in technology during your everyday life, somehow, technological advances continue to surprise and awe all of us as the innovations are announced. It’s exciting (and sometimes scary) to think about where we’ll be in 10, 20 or even 50 years and looking back, it’s crazy to think about where we were just 10 years ago. Have you ever taken a look back to see where we were 1 year ago?

The amount that can happen within just a year is unreal and 2018 is not expected to be any different. Already headlines have been filled with Blockchain and AI breakthroughs, and companies keep releasing new devices that change the way we live. Back in January, Interquest Group published an infographic that predicted trends for 2018. While some are starting to take shape, others still aren’t quite here yet.

Are you the geeky tech type who likes to be on top of all trends as they come? If so, how do you think we’re doing on these predictions and will they all come true by December?

Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends 2018 - #infographic

A Visual Look at the Past and Present of Technology

Advancements in technology have certainly made our lives so much simpler. But the devices we have today had to start somewhere and when we compare our current model to older ones the differences are enormous.

For example consider your USB stick and how much data one can hold. It’s hard to imagine having to use multiple floppy disks to achieve the same thing. Take a look at these other comparisons made in Futurism’s infographic.

A Visual Look at the Past and Present of Technology

Finally! The Gadgets from the Future Have Arrived

There’s always that one movie you watch and afterwards you wish you had the cool technology the characters got to use. A popular example is the hover board from Back to the Future.

With the current advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology some of these dreams are becoming a reality. Gadgets that seemed impossible just a few years ago now exist. You could own a “robot nanny”, an underwater drone that connects to VR goggles or even a jetpack like in The Jetsons.

This infographic from Who is Hosting This shows you the sci-fi gadgets that have been made into reality today.

12 Unbelievable Gadgets From The Future You Can Buy Today - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog
Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

The Workplace of the Future? The Answer is Probably Somewhere in the Middle

Cameron McCallum By Cameron McCallum,
Regional Vice President at Eagle

There are a number of generally accepted theories as to what the workplace will look like in the near future. With the advent of new and more powerful technology, change is inevitable. And while it is fun to imagine a world of AI, advanced robotics and other marvels of the future which will make our lives so much better, the truth probably lies closer to the middle in that for every potential win for humanity, there is likely an offsetting loss and which side you are on might be as simple as the circumstance and geography to which you were born. Here are some of the most common predictions with a cold, hard look at what it might really mean.

  1. The Rise of the Freelancer

Much has been made of the fact that today more than at any other time, the use of freelancers is expanding. In the information technology field, independent contractors are seen as an essential part of the labour mix. They bring specific experience not available among client’s employees or they help to shore up a project that requires a temporary increase in manpower. But ideas like the “Taskification” of work whereby companies tap into a global pool of freelancers who perform work or “tasks” for a fee is also seen as a growing trend. Taskification allows for employers to tap into a global pool of workers but with no obligations to those individuals. Simply hiring the lowest-priced labor with no concern for their well-being or the conditions under which they deliver their labor is potentially no different than the existing issue of the sweatshops of developing countries.

  1. The Disappearance of the Bricks and Mortar Office

The downfall of the corporate office workspace and traditional employee has been predicted for years. I can remember during the dot.com boom everyone talking about the new economy and how a much more flexible workplace would mean that more and more tech workers could work from home or from random geographic locations. “Co-working” and “Digital Nomads” offer two solutions and address both the problem of isolation that freelancers experience working from home as well as the wander-lust that more and more workers exhibit. The benefits of co-working seem obvious, a “social” space whereby individuals work on their specific assignments while networking and sharing ideas sounds great. But individuals using these spaces report frequent interruptions, difficulty in locking in on their tasks and constant chatter about new and exciting opportunities…which just might be better than the one they are currently working on. And having a workforce, spread across the globe working off their laptop, probably on a beach in the tropics sounds idyllic. But even with the most disciplined worker, is it unfair to suggest that they might just be more inclined to disengage from work when presented with a constant temptation of leisure and recreational activities?  We are already in the middle of a trend that sees workers move jobs more frequently than at any time in history. The effort that goes into acquiring, training and retaining talent is already daunting. While co-working and digital nomads might not exacerbate the trend, I’m not convinced that it is the answer to productivity and retention.

  1. Driverless Cars

This is not so directly related to work but I was struck by this while I attended a presentation recently at the faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. The topic was driverless cars and looked at a future of networked, people movers which would move citizens and therefore workers to their destinations seamlessly and without accidents or other human-induced glitches. While the idea of relegating gridlock to the pages of history and reducing the human carnage of vehicle accidents is vastly appealing, the presenter mentioned that networked vehicles would also give the worker of the future a “work pod” connected at all times to their place of work while they travelled throughout the day. As we already know, it is getting harder and harder to disengage from work and the thought of a vehicle designed around my desk at work tends to make me cringe. Sure, we’ll also use the vehicle for fun…

 

  1. Retirement will be a Thing of the Past

For some, the ability to continue to work well past their retirement years is an attractive proposition. If you are in a job you love, retirement may not be something you aspire to. And with advances in health care and medical treatment, people are living longer. Demographic changes and an aging workforce may mean more opportunity for our seniors to stay gainfully employed. But for those who are looking forward to retirement their choices may be considerably more limited. Personal debt is at an all-time high and for many workers, the cost of living in large cities where the jobs are presents a massive strain on their budgets. People are living longer, putting more stress on their savings and the same advances in health care and medical treatment mentioned above, means that individuals will have to plan for longer lives. Seniors may very well represent a viable labour force, and for many of them, that may be a good thing. But for those who dream of a life of travel or fishing after their work years, those dreams may be out of their reach.

The future as always, holds the promise of fascinating advances in technology and with these advances, opportunities for humans to experience the world in new ways. Work is and will continue to be impacted by these changes and many of them should be positive. But we also need to be aware that none, in and of themselves, will work for everyone, nor solve all challenges and that the answer, probably does lie somewhere in the middle.

The Future of Wearable Technology

Terrifying or exciting, the future is coming and the Internet of Things, specifically wearables, are going to be a major part of it. If you’re glancing down at your Apple Watch and thinking about how you’re already there, then think again. According this infographic from Futurism, Wearables are just getting started.

Scroll through the infographic below and begin to get inspired. Apparently it won’t be long before we can expect to have more clothes like smart jackets, accessories like wearable translators, and even body parts like artificial kidneys.  What are you most excited about? Do you think the future of wearables will increase our quality of life like the infographic suggests, or are we starting to go too far?

The Future of Wearable Technology

What Does the Future of ITSM Hold, According to ITSM Professionals

The best way to predict the future of any industry is to talk directly with those who are working in it every day. That’s exactly what ITSM.tools and ManageEngine did earlier this year when they set out to understand the future of corporate IT organizations and, more specifically, IT Service Management (ITSM). With a mission to avoid standard ITSM survey questions, they asked ITSM professionals ten questions related to potential future challenges and opportunities.

The survey resulted in their IT Service Management Future Readiness Report which discusses new technologies and changing IT roles.  You can see all of the details on their website, but if you’d like a quick summary, check out this infographic which ManageEngine also created. In summary, ITSM professionals are predicting a challenging future. Would you agree?

What Does the Future of ITSM Hold, According to ITSM Professionals