The future of work IELTS Reading pdf test | The future of work IELTS Reading pdf test
The future of work
According to a leading business consultancy, 3-14% of the global workforce will need to switch to a different occupation within the next 10-15 years, and all workers will need to adapt as their occupations evolve alongside increasingly capable machines. Automation – or ‘embodied artificial intelligence’ (AI) – is one aspect of the disruptive effects of technology on the labour market. ‘Disembodied AI’, like the algorithms running in our smartphones, is another.
Dr Stella Pachidi from Cambridge Judge Business School believes that some of the most fundamental changes are happening as a result of the ‘algorithmication’ of jobs that are dependent on data rather than on production – the so-called knowledge economy. Algorithms are capable of learning from data to undertake tasks that previously needed human judgement, such as reading legal contracts, analysing medical scans and gathering market intelligence.
‘In many cases, they can outperform humans,’ says Pachidi. ‘Organisations are attracted to using algorithms because they want to make choices based on what they consider is “perfect information”, as well as to reduce costs and enhance productivity.’
‘But these enhancements are not without consequences,’ says Pachidi. ‘If routine cognitive tasks are taken over by AI, how do professions develop their future experts?’ she asks. ‘One way of learning about a job is “legitimate peripheral participation” – a novice stands next to experts and learns by observation. If this isn’t happening, then you need to find new ways to learn.’
Another issue is the extent to which the technology influences or even controls the workforce. For over two years, Pachidi monitored a telecommunications company. ‘The way telecoms salespeople work is through personal and frequent contact with clients, using the benefit of experience to assess a situation and reach a decision. However, the company had started using a(n) … algorithm that defined when account managers should contact certain customers about which kinds of campaigns and what to offer them.’