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Future of Work


Analysis and insight on the future of work. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends related to the future of work.

When Machines Can Do Most Jobs—Passion, Creativity, and Reinvention Rule

Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined...

Are MOOCs the ‘Digital Albums’ of Education? From Standard Education to ‘Marginal Learning’

“Once upon a time, there were physical CDs. The order of each song mattered, for the album was often played as an uninterrupted piece. Then came the computer and music became digital. You could...
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Episode 3 of Ask an Expert Now Online: Will Robots Take Our Jobs? [Video]

Ready or not, another episode Ask an Expert is already here...about as fast as robots are showing up in the workplace. This episode, in fact, is all about robots and how they will affect humans. Walking us through the implications of the...

What the Next Generation Needs to Thrive in Exponential Times

How do you raise kids today during these exponential times? Should they learn a second language… in a world of instant translation? Should they ever memorize any fact… in a world of ubiquitous Google? Will college even...

Should We Redesign Capitalism to Address Our Jobless Future?

“There are more net jobs in the world today than ever before, after hundreds of years of technological innovation and hundreds of years of people predicting the death of work. The logic on this...

It’s No Myth: Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Erase Jobs in Nearly Every Industry

With the unemployment rate falling to 5.3 percent, the lowest in seven years, policy makers are heaving a sigh of relief. Indeed, with the technology boom in progress, there is a lot to be...

Will These Giant Robots Do Battle? American MegaBot Challenges Japan’s Kuratas Mecha

Two proud countries, two extraordinary warriors…one title. Just like Rocky IV. Only instead of Sly and Dolph, substitute a 15-foot, 6-ton American robot going toe-to-toe with a 12.5-foot, 5-ton Japanese mecha. In a YouTube...
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What’s the Meaning of Life If Society Doesn’t Need You Any Longer?

If you have a job, odds are society benefits from your work, and theoretically, the compensation you receive is how the marketplace values your contribution. All other things being equal, the better you are at your job,...

Why the Millennials Are the Most Important Generation Yet

Millennials are those born between 1980-2000, today between the ages of 15-35. This post is about millennials – why they are changing the game, how to hire them, and how to keep them motivated. The data presented...

Daimler’s Driverless 18-Wheelers Approved to Cruise Nevada’s Highways

This summer, while road tripping through Nevada, you may pull up to the sleek silver cab of an 18-wheeler, and get a shock—the driver isn’t looking at the road, and his hands aren’t on...

Crowdfunding’s Continued Maturity Is Empowering Entrepreneurs Like Never Before

One of the core ideas in my latest book Bold is that today, for the first time in history, entrepreneurs have the ability to take on grand, world-changing projects—the kinds that twenty years ago were...

The Secrets of Unicorn Companies (and the 100 Most Scalable Organizations)

We are in era of unprecedented value creation, and its symbol is the Unicorn — a company that rapidly gains to a valuation of a billion dollars and beyond. While pundits are again asking “Are we...

Finland’s Latest Educational Move Will Produce a Generation of Entrepreneurs

Last Friday marked the fifth anniversary of the iPad, a device heralded for triggering the broad adoption of tablet computers and for further spurring our always-connected, digital lives. Like the iPod and iPhone before it, the iPad significantly impacted a number...

Which Industry Will Produce the Next Henry Ford…Space? 3D Printing? Biotech?

Modern machines, powerful and clever, have enabled us to attempt seemingly impossible tasks, like traveling to the moon. Now, mere decades after Apollo’s computers guided us to the lunar surface, millions carry vastly more processing...
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The End of Meaningless Jobs Is a Win For Us All

Many experts studying the topic of automation believe that the current rate of advancement is leading us into a future with fewer and fewer available jobs. Maybe that’s a good thing. In his 2013 essay, “On the Phenomenon...

Signs Virtual Reality and Crowdfunding Are Going Mainstream

Three exciting developments — that I believe you should know about — happened in technology this week. In this blog, I want to share them with you and give you context. Pebble Time Crowdfunding > $20 million A few...

Why We Need Local Economies to Balance Technological Unemployment

Exponential technologies and digitization lure our focus to global markets, dangling the potential of massive profits and dizzying scale. Entrepreneurs and investors look for opportunities to create the next platform, which may be the innocuous...

The Growing Precariat: Why We Need a Universal Basic Income

There is an adage in economics known as ‘the lump of labor fallacy’. It is that technological change is destroying jobs and generating rising unemployment. It rests on an image of a finite number...
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When It Comes To Jobs, Automation Can Be a Force For Good

Advances in automation will create an enormous increase in productivity and wealth, and potentially, a world where that wealth is unavailable to the majority of the world’s population. However, properly applied, these same advances...
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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Future of Work: We’ve Got To Out-Educate If We’re Going to Out-Compete

"How can we reconcile these sort of concerns that we all have around how quickly things are changing?" So asked California's Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, in a recent interview at Singularity University. Newsom sat down with...

Putting America Gainfully Back to Work

Years ago, my brother, Matt, explained to me that there are three ways to push out the productivity curve: technology, capital, or people. When we increase productivity, we increase wealth. However, when we discuss how...

On-Demand Employment: How Today’s Workers Are Choosing Journeys Over Jobs

The American industrialist Henry Ford, regarding diminishing customer surveys on early cars, once famously quipped, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” What’s less widely known is...

Technology Doesn’t Just Erase Jobs—It Creates Them Too

Worries about the future often share a critical flaw. They sometimes assume nothing changes, or that change happens more slowly than it does—when instead, awareness of a problem drives people to find solutions to...

Interview: Neil Jacobstein Discusses Future of Jobs, Universal Basic Income and the Ethical Dangers of AI

As part of Singularity Hub's Future of Work series, I had a chance to sit down with Neil Jacobstein, the co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics track. Neil has worked on AI applications...

Future of Work Series Launches Today

Singularity Hub is devoting this week to exploring a topic on many of people’s minds recently: The Future of Work. Have we already entered an era where exponentially growing technologies, among them AI and robotics,...

Revolution in Fundraising

Over the last 30 years, I've raised hundreds of millions of dollars for my startups and XPRIZEs. This is a critical blog for any entrepreneur trying to raise money. As the saying goes, no bucks,...

Poll: 1,000+ Business Leaders Weigh in on Disruption and the Future of Tech

Let’s say you buy this idea that an increasing number of technologies are on an exponential curve (that is, they’re advancing at an accelerating pace) and whereas you might once have had decades to...

A Telepresence Robot with a Gripping Arm? ORIGIBOT Is a Dream Come True

Telepresence robots are awesome, but the experience can be frustrating at times. The reason? They lack arms. Whether you want to examine an object yourself, open a door, or pretend to be the Terminator with a Nerf gun, the lack of...

The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now

Isn’t it time we start telling the truth about addiction? What is that truth? That we are all addicts and all the time. For this to make sense, it helps to first understand that our ideas...

Future of Work: Why Teaching Everyone to Code Is Delusional

Since 2005, I’ve been grappling with the issue of what to teach young people. I’ve written curricula for junior high students in the US, for a UNICEF program reaching students in a dozen countries,...

Future of Work: What Skills Will Help Us Keep Pace?

From Elon Musk’s tweet that artificial intelligence may be more dangerous than nuclear weapons to the growing clamor of voices warning robots will take away our jobs, it is clear we are focusing more...

Desktop Machine Carves Metal and Wood Like Butter

How many desktop 3D printers have we seen on Kickstarter in recent years? Too many to count. But 3D printing is only half of the digital manufacturing promise. Where 3D printing is additive—CNC machines,...

Million Robot Revolution Delayed—iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn Hires More Humans

Terry Gou is CEO of electronics manufacturer Foxconn. He’s also a big proponent of replacing humans with robots in factories. Gou said Foxconn would replace human workers with a million robots in three years....
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Crowdfunding Begins for Documentary Film Charting the Birth of Singularity University

Matt Rutherford, filmmaker and former producer of Charlie Rose, first met Salim Ismail at a birthday party in San Francisco. Over a beverage and some tech talk, the conversation turned to a new project...
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Visualizing the Future of Food, Well-Being, and Work with Three Incredible RSA Videos

Powerful lectures chock full of information sometimes can be challenging to process and the need for visualization is so great that ultimately it takes an organization like the RSA to find a highly creative way to illustrate this...

Skully Motorcycle Helmet Not Quite Iron Man, But a Taste of Our Augmented Reality Future

If Tony Stark designed a motorcycle helmet, it might look a little like Skully. Sleek black (or white) with an aerodynamic fin. A visor that changes tint at the touch of a finger. A rear...

Pen that Scans and Draws in Millions of Colors Finally Arrives on Kickstarter

Ever bought a king-size box of colored pencils and marveled at all the names? Burnt sienna, cerulean blue, tuscan red. The world is overflowing with colors, too many to count or name. What if...

Burger Robot Poised to Disrupt Fast Food Industry

I saw the future of work in a San Francisco garage two years ago. Or rather, I was in proximity to the future of work, but happened to be looking the other direction. At the...

Is Tech Unemployment Good or Bad?

Recently, in conversation with Vinod Khosla, Larry Page was asked what he thinks will happen to jobs in the future as technology begins to replace humans. His response was essentially, "everybody will work fewer hours." Similarly,...

Lab-Grown Cheese Made by ‘Milking’ Genetically Modified Yeast Cells

If you’re against killing animals for food and clothing or believe industrial farming is too resource intense, you may have given up some of life’s greatest pleasures. No juicy steak for you, no deliciously...

Evidence of Abundance #1: More Leisure, Less Work

Is technology making you work harder? Or giving you more time off? Seriously, it feels like it’s enabling me to work around the clock! Heck, I’m writing this email at 37,000 feet on a Virgin...

Neurogames are Ready to Take Flight — Expect a Breakout Year Ahead

“We’re very close.” In just three words, Palmer Luckey of OculusVR fame, perfectly summarized not only where virtual reality stands, but perhaps the entire neurogaming industry. Luckey was on hand to present with other industry...

Toyota’s Replacing Robots With Humans…So They Can Make Even Better Robots

Japan and car manufacturing are pretty much synonymous with robots. Some of the most advanced and practical bots hail from the former and work in the latter. It may, therefore, surprise you to learn Japanese...

Beyond the Hype and Hope of 3D Printing: What Consumers Should Expect

The latest 3D printing Kickstarter smash hit, the Micro, raised its target $50,000 in eleven minutes. The Micro bills itself as the first truly consumer 3D printer—it plugs in with a USB cable, costs...

As Robots Evolve the Workforce, Will Labor Laws Keep Pace?

Humans aren’t just being replaced by robots, particularly as job descriptions adapt to new divisions of labor: A growing number will find themselves working alongside the droids. The situation raises some thorny legal issues.

In Depth With Jason Silva: Brain Games, Trance States, and The Abomination of Death

It’d been awhile, so we contacted Jason Silva to find out what gets him up in the morning these days. Though he’s added a mainstream audience, Silva seems eager as ever to chase the “adjacent possible” and leap over it into even dreamier domains. To learn why, among other things, he’s slightly disappointed Google Glass isn’t Scarlett Johansson, why privacy is malleable and mostly overrated, and how femto-scale computing at black hole densities accounts for the eery silence of the universe—read on.

Foxconn’s Pivot to America: Reverse Outsourcing With Robots

China has been vilified in recent years for stealing US manufacturing jobs, as have the multinationals increasing assembling products there. One reason for the outsourcing, if not its vilification, is a rational one—Chinese factory workers demand and require lower wages than do their American counterparts. In an interesting twist, however, Foxconn, the notorious Chinese manufacturer of all things Apple, recently announced they’re opening a factory in Pennsylvania.

uArm, A Mini Robotic Arm You Can Assemble and Control

The world has long had robots. Lots of them. Robotic arms live in factories, tirelessly assembling heavy things, cutting through metal (like butter)—and generally doing some pretty dangerous and crucial work. Robotic arms are pretty amazing. And now you can assemble and mount your very own robotic arm on your desk, nightstand, or kitchen counter for a Kickstarter pledge of $185.

Smarty Digital Ring Delivers Text, Email, and Social Media Updates Directly to Your Finger

You've glasses and watches get smart. Time to add rings to the list of everyday wearable items boasting microchips, miniature displays, and touch interfaces. Say hello to Smarty Ring.

AirDroids Markets a Pocket Drone for the Everyman

In a current Kickstarter campaign, the Southern California company AirDroids is offering plug-and-play book-sized drone, aptly named Pocket Drone, for a manageable $495.

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