' How To Recognize The Future When It Lands On You?

Submitted By Andrew-Milligan
Words: 2600
Pages: 11

The ability to perform a task or service is central to most of our jobs today. Let alone, the workplace of today features advanced technology never experienced before. For instance, today’s communication at work is revolutionized by email, conference calls, and webcam meetings. Yet, humans still possess a prominent place in the workplace, we are the drivers of this new technology which requires an enormous amount of human influence to make technology work for our benefit. However, established products like the Ford truck are assembled through the use of robotic technologies, in the process, thousands of jobs once held by humans are destroyed forever. Technology has increased productivity, destroyed the need for human labor, and evolved our workplace and society into something brand new. In “How to Recognize the Future When it Lands on You”, author Howard Rheingold pursues answers regarding changing social practices as a result of the information revolution fueled by new and advanced technologies. To illustrate this phenomenon, writer Rebecca Mead tells the story of Meg Hourihan, an amateur web developer in the early 2000s, a time of intense job competition for web developers. In Mead’s article “You’ve Got Blog: How to Put Your Business, Your Boyfriend, and Your Life Online”, we learn that Meg was able to experience huge success in her career and maintain a long distance relationship through the use of advanced technologies. Accordingly, in the past 20 years, mankind has developed extraordinary innovations in web capability and work technology which boosted our workplace and economy to unprecedented heights. Malcom Gladwell, a former reporter and author of two books, writes about what makes some of us be considered physical geniuses, today, it seems that even physical geniuses are being replaced in favor of superior technology. Further, Work in the future may be different in terms of the location, tasks, and nature of the job. Specifically, expect less travel, in-person communication, privacy, and a tangible workplace to travel to every day. In addition, fixed salaries, the hierarchy system of power, and need for human labor will erode giving way to more transparency, short term-work teams, and collaborative technology in the workplace. All of this builds a better work environment and network of possibilities for the individual, amateur, and entrepreneur. Further, the demand for independent contractors to complete our projects is increasing making the future of the workplace even more flexible and favorable to individuals, not large organizations. The workplace of the future will possess not only technology we would not recognize today, but technology that complements or improves the technology we use today. Inevitably, robots will replace tasks usually performed by us humans. In reality, this destruction of human labor has already occurred and has improved workplaces and existing products. Furthermore, even when thousands of human labor jobs were destroyed, the investments in new work technologies proved to be the right course for most successful businesses and organizations. The future of work is an even greater step toward machines destroying the need for human labor. Much of our work in the future can be developing new and better designs, materials, and streamlined process flow for already established products. Similar to the way in which Meg’s blogger program improved the quality of an already established product, the web. Blogs can be thought of as a desired attachment to the internet, much like Facebook, twitter, or google search, they are additional capabilities of the internet. Mead writes, “blog often consist of links to articles that readers might otherwise have missed, and thus make for informative reading” (Mead 457). “Anyone with connection to the web from anywhere in the world could view Meg’s blog and if they like your blog, then they will blog your blog on their blog” (Mead 457).