How to have a good Fourth Industrial Revolution

Industry 4 Children UN 2018

Worldreader In countries where physical books are hard to come by and illiteracy rates are high, mobile technology is being used to facilitate reading and improve literacy, says UNESCO. Shown, in Kenya, a Masai girl reads on an Android phone.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Michele Wucker, Chief Executive Officer, Gray Rhino & Company

To encourage people to examine the impact of technology on our lives, the artist Lauren McCarthy decided to try to become a human version of amazon.com’s smart home intelligence device Alexa.

McCarthy installed a network of remote-controlled smart devices, from cameras and microphones to light switches and appliances, and invited volunteers to stay in her home. Then she tried to anticipate and respond to their needs – like making a bowl of popcorn when she guessed they were hungry—instead of just responding to commands like Alexa does.

Get-Lauren touches on common anxieties, starting with the questions of what humans can offer that machines cannot, and what control each of us has over our future and even who we are.

“By allowing these devices in, we outsource the formation of our identity to a virtual assistant whose values are programmed by a small, homogenous group of developers,” McCarthy wrote.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has ushered in new technologies that are changing where and how many of us work, what we buy and how we buy it, what we learn and what we delegate to our devices, and how we connect with each other.

It’s easy for even tech-savvy individuals to feel that we are helpless in face of these tectonic shifts. What can a single person do? What power does anyone have amid massive social and economic changes? What is within our control and how do we adapt to what is out of our hands?

Simply asking those questions is a good start toward managing technology instead of letting it control us. Seeking to understand the changes underway helps us to feel that we are doing something instead of facing complete uncertainty. Assessing how we use technology in the workplace, home, and community helps identify where we are doing well and where we need to do more. That, in turn, gives us the material to create a roadmap for adapting.

Embrace the future of work

All those stories of the “robots coming for your jobs” reflect public anxiety over how automation and artificial intelligence will affect the workplace.

On the good side, new platforms have made it easier for independent workers to connect with clients, diversify their income sources, and keep more of the income they generate instead of sharing it with a corporation with overhead and shareholders to pay.

At the same time, studies from the Oxford Martin School, McKinsey & Company, and others suggest that technology will affect most of the labor force. More than half of of US workers are not confident that the kind of work they do will exist in 20 years, according to a recent survey. Considerably more freelancers – 49 percent versus 18 percent of employees — think AI has already affected their work.

McKinsey concludes that the tasks that are least susceptible to automation involve managing others, decision-making, planning, and creative tasks. Somewhat more vulnerable are stakeholder interactions and unpredictable physical work. Data collection and processing are highly susceptible to automation. Robots are most likely to take over predictable, repetitive tasks.

Considering these changes, take stock of your own skills. Which ones distinguish you and which ones need improving? Focus on the activities at which humans excel where machines cannot – creativity, teamwork, innovation, judgment, empathy – and fields that are least likely to be destroyed by new technologies.

How would your colleagues, friends, and family assess your people skills? Ask them and improve your weak spots. Take a course, find a coach or accountability group, and check in with the people around you to see if they notice changes.

If your job is among the most vulnerable, how can you add skills that fall in a safer category? Where can new technologies help you learn new skills and apply them for much less than it would have cost in the past? What skills are you helping the children around you to nurture?

Review your tech relationships

Along with your work-related assessments, do a personal tech audit. Familiarize yourself with technologies that can help you outside of the office. Ask what is most useful for you, and what is just hype designed to sell you gadgets. Make tech work for you, not the other way around.

What dull tasks can you delegate to technological tools? What things need the human touch? I hate scheduling, so love the idea of an AI personal assistant. But an AI scheduler can’t handle jamming too many appointments into a single day on a trip to a big, congested city, or manage conversations with VIPs.

What technologies do you use already? Robot vacuum cleaners; programmable alarms and coffee makers; automated online tools; wearable technology; smart thermostats; parking assist? Health technologies from telemedicine to record management systems to apps that remind you to take your pills, help you meditate, or monitor your heart rate? Do you rely on social media and networks for searching for jobs; or platforms for sharing rides, homes, or cars?

Now think about how you use each technology and how much it benefits you. Do you change your behavior based on the readings from your wrist tracker, or do you ignore it? Is the amount of time you spend on social media or playing games healthy or a giant time suck? Does it leave you feeling better about yourself? Have you made informed choices about privacy and adjusted your settings appropriately?

Use good tech hygiene. Take vacations from your devices instead of letting your smartphone be an electronic tether. Set boundaries for interactions; don’t tolerate online bullies or trolls. Adjust your privacy settings. Fight the negative physical effects of technology, like hunching over your phone or trouble sleeping because you looked at your device too close to bed time.

Create a roadmap

Neither the utopian or dystopian visions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is inevitable; the future depends on how each one of us responds.

Regular check-ins at home and work will help you to map a way forward that gives you more control and reduces anxiety.

Used right, technology can empower people by giving access to information and markets, and by increasing transparency and connectivity; creating new business platforms and models; and giving us more control over our environment and health.

Making sure that happens is one thing we cannot automate.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Who cares more about taxpayers? The US by being harsh on major banks or the EU still caressing them?

MWC 2016 LIVE: CEOs issue rallying call to drive ‘gigabit economy’

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

The quality of health education around the globe

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

Intergenerational, intercultural, interactive – The 2015 edition of JADE’s Generations Club: Transforming Europe into an entrepreneurial society

JADE Handover Ceremony at the European Parliement

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

In a time of rising xenophobia, more important than ever to ratify Genocide Convention

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

How big data can help us fight climate change faster

G20 GDP growth nudges up to 1.0% in the second quarter of 2018

Educational disadvantage starts from age 10

Workplace risks: Final vote on protection from carcinogens, including diesel fumes

How I met the Panda Woman

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

Job vacancy data reveal better prospects for Britain, stagnation in Eurozone

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

The ‘yellow vests’ undermined Macron in France and the EU

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

144 years on, Universal Postal Union meets to define its 21st Century role

IMF: The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation

Appreciation of euro to continue

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

Is a uniform CO2 emission linked car taxation possible in the EU?

One Day in Beijing

China confirms anti-state-subsidy investigation on EU wine imports

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

What makes Copenhagen the world’s most bike-friendly city?

With field schools in Kenya, UN agriculture agency teaches techniques to combat drought

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

Action needed to tackle stalled social mobility

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

The strong version of the EU banking union gains momentum

Conflict and climate change challenge sustainable development effort: UN report

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Early signs of growth in Eurozone?

To tackle climate change, we need city diplomacy

Fears for food security and the future of farming families, as Fall Armyworm spreads to Asia

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Greece did it again

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

At last some rules on banks

European financial values on the rise

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s