In 2018, MIT professor David Mindell, economist David Autor, and policy expert Elizabeth Reynolds created a task force to identify which factors and trends would impact the future of technology and the workplace.
However, in the midst of these efforts, the pandemic hit.
The findings of these three experts were greatly altered from the fallout of the health crisis, which as we know has resulted in labor shortages and mass unemployment.
However, what the pandemic did accomplish was it accelerated changes that were already underway. In their book “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in the Age of Intelligent Machines,” the taskforce discusses how technology may contribute to continued labor shortages as automation and machine learning continue to advance.
According to Mindell, most industries will be most impacted by this shift, including healthcare, autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, and more.
Although there has been a consistent fear of robots taking over jobs for years, the pandemic showed that society actually lacked the technology needed for a sustainable economy during times of emergency.
The future of remote work platforms is in the hands of advanced technology, such as cloud platforms, AI algorithms to guide traffic, warehouses that operate through robotics, and more.
It’s important to note that remote work arrangements are automation in their own form. With every use of video conferencing tools, remote workers are employing a software platform. When colleagues decide to meet virtually, that is less work for a barista at a local coffee shop.
While the automation of menial tasks has helped alleviate some of the bottlenecks that the world has become accustomed to, there is much to be done in the coming years.
The automation of the workplace is already here, and opening up more opportunities for displaced workers will be the next step in optimizing the future of work.