Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Few topics are as important, - and as challenging to anticipate, - than the future of work given our justifiable fears of rising technological unemployment. This question has been widely discussed for years, but, - at the end of the day, - we don’t really have good answers.

The Top Ten Emerging Technologies of 2016

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For the past several years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published an annual list of the Top Ten Emerging Technologies that would likely have the greatest impact on the world in the years to come. The technologies on the list are not new.

Trending Sources

Leveraging Technology

Clark Quinn

The short story is that the initial approach being taken weren’t leveraging technology effectively. The eye-opener for me was the fact that the approach initially taken wasn’t leveraging technology. Of course, that’s the point of the revolution , getting smarter about aligning technology with how our brains think, work, and learn. So here’s my question to you. Is your organization leveraging technology appropriately?

Can AI Help Translate Technological Advances into Strategic Advantage?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” is one of the most memorable quotes of science fiction writer Arthur C. But, as we better understand its promise and limitations, technology becomes just another tool we rely on in our work and daily life.

Blockchain - Once Again, the Technological Genie Has Been Unleashed from its Bottle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT research scientist and Internet pioneer David Clark addressed this question in a recent article about the early design choices that have led to today’s Internet.

Education Technology Strategies - Day One

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

lessons scripted around 1:1 laptop); IT issues - we were a Windows network, with everything on our own domain - we needed to open eg printing etc O - consumer technology far more accessible in 2012 esp. dates to classical Greece How does technology change this? - Most classrooms still dominated by teachers teaching answers and students remembering them We can change the technology but if we haven''t changed the goal we really haven''t accomplished anything.

Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The focus for this year’s conference was Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy. I was invited to attend the conference, and participate in the opening plenary panel on D igital Technologies and the Future of Governance. The panel was moderated by Beth Noveck , Professor of Law at the New York Law School , who until recently served in the White House as Deputy Chief Technology Officer and leader of the White House Open Government Initiative.

Five Key Questions

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I was asked to provide some initial recommendations for that initiative, in the form of responses to five questions. A secondary but nonetheless no less pressing issue is the cost of providing access to education generally. Though some feel distance and online learning will not reduce costs[2], many are looking to new technologies not only to increase access but also to reduce the load borne by government.

Technology and the Future of Media

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Most everyone will agree that advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are radically transforming the business landscape. Digital technologies are not only giving rise to more distributed and inclusive models, but are also enabling alternative unilateral-like models.

Should Employees Be Incented to Use Social Technologies?

Dan Pontefract

Social collaboration technologies such as internal instances of blogging, micro-blogging, video sharing, discussion forums, idea sharing, wikis, and so on are all key aspects of being collaborative. Which brings me to the question, “ Should employees be incented to use social technologies ?”.

Better Education Through Technology

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

me) on seeing a sight like this is to suggest that everybody would be better off with a little more investment in technology. But they could instead higher fewer people, pay them more, and use technology to make up the difference. But third, and perhaps most critically, you don't actually get any improvements in output using the technological solution. It is in this context we need to read an article like Kentaro Toyama's Can Technology End Poverty?

AI, Automation and the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But it’s recent advances based on machine learning and related data-driven technologies are still relatively new, making it hard to predict where AI will be heading over time. Like no other technology, AI forces us to explore the very boundaries between machines and humans.

Data 124

Questions from students at Vancouver Island University

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I received a flurry of questions on some articles on my website yesterday, questions from students at Vancouver Island University. So the question is, in all four scenarios, not how we can eliminate competition and foster an attitude of collaboration, but rather, what degree of competition is appropriate in such scenarios, and how does the practice of sharing resources reconcile with that degree of competition. So that's my first reaction to the question.

The Emerging Data Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Economist’ s May 6 issue referred to data in its cover as the world’s most valuable resource. Data has been closely intertwined with our digital technology revolution since the early days of the IT industry.

Data 102

The Long Term Impact of AI on Jobs - Some Lessons from History

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The June 25 issue of The Economist includes a special report on artificial intelligence. Automation anxieties continued to resurface in the 20th century, right along with accelerating technology advances. But regardless, we cannot ignore the machinery question.

Skills 136

Robocalypse Now? Technology, Productivity and Employment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

they asked in the paper’s abstract. “Canonical economic theory says no, but much recent economic theory says maybe - that is, rapid advances in machine capabilities may curtail aggregate labor demand as technology increasingly encroaches on human job tasks.”. Is the Robocalypse upon us?,

On the Governance of Blockchain: Lessons from the Internet

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

However, this extraordinary technology may be stalled, sidetracked, captured or otherwise suboptimized depending on how all the stakeholders behave in stewarding this set of resources - i.e. how it is governed,” they add in a strong note of caution. “How

Global Trends and Business Strategy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Companies that correctly identify and ride the tailwinds of technology and market trends will generally perform significantly better than companies for whom these same trends become tough headwinds.

Technology, Capitalism and “The American Way of Life”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Much has been written about our digital technology revolution and its impact on economies, societies and individuals. Our present age of information and communication technologies (ICT), whose starting point she pegs at 1971, is the fifth such major revolution.

The Simple, Economic Value of Artificial Intelligence

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In their opinion, “the best way to assess the impact of radical technological change is to ask a fundamental question: How does the technology reduce costs? As AI technologies advance, machine predictions will increasingly replace human ones in an increasing number of tasks.

Data 117

Blockchain Can Reshape Financial Services… But it Will Take Significant Time and Investment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Not only are there major technology and standards issues to be worked out, but the industry will have to collaborate with governments around the world to develop the appropriate legal frameworks and regulatory environments.

The Growing Value of a Dual-Track Education

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The article raised a number of important questions on the future of college education, in particular, the value of an education that combines formal schooling with real-world practical experience, often referred to as a dual-track educational system.

Peering into a Confusing, Paradoxical Future

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Technology is accelerating progress but causing discontinuities. While creating new opportunities, technology advances will continue to aggravate divisions between winners and losers. Climate change, environment, and health issues will demand attention.

Trends 106

Becoming a 21st Century Digital Tinkerer

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, as noted in his personal website , his chief occupation is Chief of Confusion,“ helping people ask the right questions , trying to make a difference through my work- speaking, writing, teaching.” .

The Future of the Globally Integrated Enterprise

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

“In Retreat: Global companies in the era of protectionism,” reads the cover of the January 28 issue of The Economist. Governments in the emerging world welcomed the jobs, exports and technology that global firms brought. Expansion of the middle class and consumer technologies. “The

What’s the Value of Blockchain?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Such real-world use cases are particularly important when introducing a new, complex set of technologies in the marketplace. They’re the best way of getting on the learning curve for the new technologies as well as of explaining the kinds of problems they help us address.

10 lessons for Giving Days, and one question: How can we make them more sustainable?

Beth Kanter

10 lessons for Giving Days, and one question: How can we make them more sustainable? To do it, their Giving Day campaigns have embraced new technologies and outreach strategies to make philanthropy easy and, well, a ton of fun. Click to see the full infographic.

The (Uneven) Digitization of the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Digital technologies are all around us, - increasingly ubiquitous and commoditized. Several weeks ago, the McKinsey’s Global Institute (MGI) published a report addressing these questions. Digital technologies now touch the economy in myriads of ways.

Data 84

The Coming Robotics Revolution

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Hi, Robot: Work and Life in the Age of Automation , reads the Hamlet-inspired cover of the July, 2105 issue of Foreign Affairs. Speculations about a future radically transformed by technology are nothing new.

Globalization at a Crossroads

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

How should business address the very important issues now surrounding globalization? This question was explored in two recent Harvard Business Review articles, - People Are Angry About Globalization. Leverage Technology from Front to Back.

Cost 88

AI and Public Policy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The report is organized into three main sections: Section I described the key research trends influencing AI’s future; Section II examined the key economic sectors that are most likely to be impacted by AI; and Section III looked into issues surrounding AI and public policy.

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Lepore’s article may well be part of a growing backlash against the relentless advances in technology. Most of us who’ve studied or lived through them find Christensen’s work to be a useful explanation and organizing framework for understanding technology-based disruptions.

Becoming a Data-Driven Business: Challenges and Opportunities

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Big data ,- including analytics , data science , artificial intelligence and related information-based technologies - are now everywhere. “Is The convergence of several technology trends is accelerating progress.

Data 87

The Rise of the Platform Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

These are among the questions addressed in in a recent report, The Rise of the Platform Enterprise: A Global Survey led by Peter Evans and Annabelle Gawer and sponsored by the Center for Global Enterprise. What do we mean by a platform ?

Survey 121

The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Last year, a panel of global experts convened by the World Economic Forum selected blockchain as one of the Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2016, based on its potential to fundamentally change the way economies work.

Man, Machine, and Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The June, 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review includes a spotlight on Man and Machine: Knowledge Work in the Age of the Algorithm. Like no other technology, AI forces us to explore the very boundaries between machines and humans.

Data 83

The Growing Importance of Storytelling in the Business World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Since retiring from IBM in 2007, I’ve continued my involvement with technology-based initiatives, - AI and blockchain most recently, - through my consulting and academic activities as well as the weekly blogs that I’ve now been writing for the past dozen years.

Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I found the most satisfying answer to this seemingly Socratic question in an excellent 2002 paper - Complexity and Robustness - by professors Jean Carlson and John Doyle. Few things are harder to predict than the potential impact of new technologies, business models or market changes.

Skills and Jobs in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Technological revolutions are highly disruptive to economies and societies. The digital revolution has yet to fulfil its promise of higher productivity and better jobs,” said The Economist in a special report on Technology and the World Economy in its October 4th issue. “The

The President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Last February, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity within the Department of Commerce. The Commission is composed of twelve individuals from the world of business, technology and academia.