Guest Post from Simon Harris-Briggs who is responsible for promoting the Avocor brand across Europe and the Middle East, working with leading system integrators and consultants to position the Avocor product portfolio to end user clients.
In winter 2017, China unveiled plans to open a police station staffed entirely by AI. Then in spring 2018, a bank opened in Shanghai without a single warm bodied employee. All the workers were robots.
Of course, China has its sights set on becoming the world leader in AI by 2030. The rest of the world might not have to deal with robotic workforces quite so soon.
But that doesn’t mean technology won’t have a significant impact on the way you work in the not so distant future.
Here are just a few of the ways tech could change the nine-to-five for good.
In February 2018, the business press ran headlines suggesting that half the UK’s workforce could be working from home by 2020. Whilst statistics should often be taken with a pinch of salt, there’s no denying that the practice is on the rise.
We can thank technology for this. Colleagues now have an arsenal of tech tools at their disposal that help them communicate from remote locations. There are professional group chat apps like Slack, developed web and video conferencing products like Skype, and document sharing services like Google Docs and Dropbox that allow workers instant access to company files, wherever they are.
Augmented reality looks set to cause one of the biggest shake ups in the way we work. Designers will be able to use it to create virtual prototypes and inspect them for any flaws, without going through the costly process of building a model first. Companies like estate agents and clothing producers will be able to allow customers to view houses and try on clothing, virtually, from home. Plus, there are implications for training. Workers in dangerous jobs can learn skills through AR simulations where they can make mistakes safely.
As we move towards the twenty thirties, algorithms are becoming more and more complex. Whereas once they were being developed to recognise patters and analyse data, they’re now being created to recognise emotions. This has implications for recruitment. Algorithms can be used during interviews to help pick out the most honest and passionate workers.
In businesses like manufacturing, IT and digital design, the technology required to do the best job is constantly changing. The companies of the future will need to update training practices as a result. Algorithms could be used to track an employee’s performance and identify any appropriate upskilling opportunities. The workers of the future could be almost constantly learning – taking what’s being termed as a run of nanodegrees to ensure they are always on the top of their game.
We’ve all been there. We’ve returned to work after a holiday and we’ve forgotten the log-in password for out office computer. There was a time when you’d have to waste a good 15 minutes to fix this problem – phoning up the outsourced IT department to get them to reset your computer. In the future, we will most likely gain access to our devices through bio technology – like iris or fingerprint recognition. You might not need that lanyard and entry card any longer either, as complex bio technology systems are being invented that can recognise people from things as subtle as the way they walk.
It’s estimated that as many as 40 per cent of UK homes could have an Alexa. Most people use the voice-controlled device as a supped-up radio. However, in the future, it’s thought that more businesses will implement voice recognition technology. Asking the corporate version of Alexa to book you in to a meeting, or opening, dictating, and sending an email without raising a finger can help companies improve productivity.
A new range of voice assistant apps are currently emerging, too. Apps like Otter not only allow you to transcribe vocal conversations instantly, but they also allow you to search through your transcriptions as you would search through your emails or a written document.
Easier international business
The proliferation of task management tools means that it’s easier than ever for companies to communicate with clients or co workers overseas. Online platforms like Trello and Basecamp can be accessed remotely by colleagues around the globe, so they can work on projects together.
Technology is also making it possible for companies who don’t speak the same language to work together. Computer assisted translation tools allow businesses to translate documents faster than ever.
Even if companies are not employing full scale humanoid robots, most businesses of the future will use robotic process automation in some form. This sort of software creates a virtual worker that can complete tasks in a similar way to a human. Roboticizing mundane and repetitive tasks within a company frees up the time of the human worker, so they can focus on the more creative sides of their roles.