Dr Austin Tay



There are many articles written about the Future of Work. There is no escape as everyone seems to have something to say with regards to how our work will be changed. That is most things will be automated and how some individuals at work will be affected. The latest buzzword is Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Every organization and consulting firms have their perspectives on how the future of work is going to be like and have their own take on how changes need to be made to cater for this new era of automation and artificial intelligence. But is this inevitable change going to benefit people or organizations? There is only one way to answer this question – hypothetically.


Let us fast forward to the year 2028. Everything we do has now become automated and that being connected has become even more ubiquitous. We no longer rely on physical phones to communicate with one another, as we did before because an implanted RFID chip on our hands can help us gain access to our office, conduct conference calls or meetings, and store and retrieve almost any data we desire. All business transactions will be sealed in a jiffy. We are now entwined with every possible application and technology available in this new age. From the perspective of organizations, this is what they have foreseen and foretold. All of us will be super-efficient and productive.


Although all of these sounds like scenes from a sci-fiction movie, the reality might hit us faster than we can imagine. What puzzles me is, despite all this talk about how AI and automation that are going to be benefitting us and propelling us to the possibilities that we cannot even have dreamed of, what is the trade-off?


As it is today, people are not able to detach themselves from technology, social media and applications, what will become of us in the next 10 years? I can only imagine people will never be able to switch off as our lives will be governed by all forms of apps and technology. What should we do then?


To be frank, there is very little we can do. Newer technologies will be developed and unless one chooses to be a hermit, there is no escape of these technologies in our private or work life. However, one can choose to disengage wherever possible, to be in the present and have a technology detox now and again. In doing all these, at least they can provide us with a temporary disconnection with technology and in turn to have a real connection with people around us.

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