True or False?
There is a brewing technological storm threatening to eliminate hundreds of jobs and leave millions of workers without a paycheck.
Listen to this podcast when futurists John McElligott and Ira S Wolfe discuss why robots, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and other advanced technologies probably won’t destroy occupations and jobs as quickly as many experts forecast. But exponential technologies will certainly disrupt and change how work gets done.
You might find this optimistic forecast odd coming from the guy whose company just created Robo-Rista to serve up coffees and lattes and Vincent van Gogh-Bot to draw sketches of customers.
But York Exponential CEO John McElligott believes the immediate future features a collaborative interface between technology and human workers. “We don’t automate,” he insists. “We augment. We want to make sure that our robots are not taking people’s jobs; they’re saving jobs.”
While many companies are focused on recruiting and hiring Millennials and Generation Z to fill traditional jobs, Generation R(obots) will likely be the real story. “We’re creating the 1st generation of humans and robots working together,” McElligott shared during my podcast.
But unlike the computer revolution that helped make humans more productive, humans will now be expected to return the favor and help advance the productivity of technology. That’s good news for workers as the jobs they do won’t be 100% automated but augmented.
But for those expecting to sit back and pick up a paycheck while Mr. Robot does all the work, you’re kidding yourself. Augmentation means new and better skills will be required. McElligott has got that covered too by launching what he calls “the 1st generation of responsible disruptors.”
As companies begin to integrate co-bots full time or hire robots as a service, a whole new workforce of robot mechanics will be needed. “Right now installation is handled by engineers,” he says. But shortages in the current workforce and for the foreseeable future are staggering. These shortages imperil the competitiveness of individual companies and our nation. “We need a workforce of regular, every day middle class workers do the the work of engineers” and that’s why he created Fortress Academy to educate a legion of robot mechanics. “We believe it’s time everyone comes along for the ride.”
In this fast-pace, conversation filled 25 minutes, we also talked about how education has not embraced technology and how history may be primed to repeat itself.
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