How will technology change the way we work? We recently published a debate looking at the mobile app economy in Europe, in the run-up to an event we co-hosted in Brussels with Google on mobile innovation. Some of our readers were very optimistic, arguing that new technology would make us more productive, boost economic growth, and lead to more jobs. However, we also had more cautious comments, such as from Marcel, who was worried technology would be disruptive, abolishing traditional manufacturing jobs and replacing them with a smaller number of highly-skilled positions.
Technology has radically changed the labour market over the last 50 years. Jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago are now common (particularly those related to the digital economy), while many traditional manufacturing jobs have essentially disappeared (either moving overseas, or being automated). So, how can we better train people to adapt to a changing workplace? What changes are coming down the pipeline, and what will the workplace look like in the coming decades?
We had a comment from Tarquin, who believes that the digital economy will provide a boost in the short-to-medium term, but eventually there will be a trend towards fewer and fewer jobs done by people with higher and higher skills? If so, won’t technology eventually put us all out of the job?
To get a response, we went to the event in Brussels on mobile innovation and put Tarquin’s comment to Sunmin Kim, Technology Editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit. What would she say?
For another perspective, we put the same question to James Waterworth, Vice-President (Europe) of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Would he be able to reassure Tarquin?
What will the future of work look like? Will technology eventually put us all out of the job? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!