01 November 2017
It is increasingly apparent that jobs commonly reckoned to be “safe” may in fact be candidates for an AI – Artificial Intelligence – takeover, with many knowledge workers themselves candidates for displacement. Research by McKinsey from 2015 suggests that current technologies alone could automate 45% of the paid activities. Some experts believe the effect will be comparable to the industrial revolution. Concurrently, workers are demanding, and companies are offering, greater flexibility in work arrangements.
Unlike the past, when the vast majority of work was full-time employment, bundled with benefits such as pension and healthcare, the future will be much more varied. There will be full-timers, part-timers, freelancers, contract workers, and other forms of relationships between companies and labour. Work hours may be shift-based, flexible, self-determined, or totally undefined, so long as agreed output is delivered timely. Historically, people have moved to new jobs as old ones are destroyed. Some believe this will continue, while others suggest that the outlook is less positive now. We should ponder the future for both the winners and losers, particularly if the intensity of disruption increases.
… Shashi Jayakumar is head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) and executive coordinator, Future Issues and Technology at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Eugene Goh is chief operating officer of a leading shift-worker hiring and management software startup based in Singapore. A longer version of this piece was published in Channel News Asia Commentaries on 15 October 2017.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 07/11/2017