Jon Williams, global leader of people and organisation PwC, talks to HRM about jobs of the future and the next great change to work – automation. Reflecting on how society has adapted in the past he expresses a cautious optimism that the future isn’t going to be a story of robots replacing humans, it’s about finding ways for machine learning to work with humans in an augmented fashion.
The difficulty is that there’s so much we don’t know about what the technology will and won’t be able to do. Are we headed towards the dystopian prediction, where all work will be replaced by robots and large swaths of people will find themselves with no means to support themselves while the rich get richer? Or will machine learning only take the jobs of the future that humans shouldn’t be doing anyway, and give us time to discover and work at what we value most? Jon thinks the answer lies somewhere in between.
Most interestingly, he explains that we don’t yet know what the jobs of the future will be – that doesn’t mean there won’t be any. But that the key to adapting to the future is flexibility. This isn’t just true of HR, it’s true for everybody.
Watch for more and tell us what you think in the comments below. And if you want to read more about the future of work, check out our article on what offices may soon look like.