Robots, AI, and greater automation are coming to the workplace. Concern that robots will replace human labor is well-documented, but many visionaries disagree. However, technology and real estate disruptors who are on the cutting-edge of this new development offer nuanced visions of what the workplaces of the future will look like.
Reason to Believe Future Work Places Will Be More, Not Less Human
While certain roles within industries always become outdated by new technology, (think printing press professionals, telegraph line workers, the list goes on) greater automation is generating the rise of new rolls that could be described as uniquely human in a study by MIT. In short, the study discovered that AI would create as many jobs as it replaces in the long run.
What will those new jobs look like? Wired describes them as three categories;
- Trainers who will teach AI to mimic human qualities, thus preventing “canned” sounding answers from Siri and Alexa.
- Explainers, who will introduce AI to organizations that will both help customize and implement the device, while offering full explanations for failed algorithmic decisions, which could become critical.
- Sustainers who deal with unintended consequences and ensure they are dealt with ethically and urgently. This is predicted to be a large field of growth based on the implications of this tech.
Preparing to Work Alongside Robots
The first step in this is to identify the tasks a robot simply can’t perform. This is unlikely to be routine tasks along the lines of data entry and manual labor, but probably high-value functions requiring lateral thinking. For example, your robot certainly won’t be hopping on the phone when a furious client is threatening to walk away from the business.
As matter of fact, in order to streamline the process of identifying ideal robot tasks, EisnerAmper is working with IBM Watson to develop something called Smart Audit Tools. These are intended to analyze documentation, validate source data, and cut away routine, predictable tasks, reports Fast Company.
But What Will Those Offices of the Future Look Like?
According to a report by Quartz, offices centered around AI and robotic integration give sci-fi fans a few things to look forward to. The report explored XTX Markets, a top trading firm that actually does not have human traders. However, there are roles and responsibilities (including AI updates and maintenance, as well as quality assurance) that do not have to do with trading.
In addition to an architecture which the architect admitted was inspired by sci-fi origins like Tron, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, the robot-trader offices feature a number of human comforts like:
- Employees get massages and bi-weekly doctor visits.
- A bar, library, gym, and even sleeping quarters.
- Will-writing and accountancy services, reportedly gratis.