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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.

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Ray Kurzweil: The Future Offers Meaningful Work, Not Meaningless Jobs

In a future where automation has taken most human “jobs,” will humans stop working? It all depends on how you define work, says Ray Kurzweil. He favors the idea of a universal basic income...
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A Big Shift Is Coming, and It Could Uber-ize Entire Industries

Visit Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of manufacturing and technology as we bring you coverage of Singularity University's Exponential Manufacturing Summit.  Who will rule the future economy—entrepreneurs or mega corporations? Will the economy fracture...

These Five Exponential Trends Are Accelerating Robotics

Visit Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of manufacturing and technology as we bring you coverage of Singularity University's Exponential Manufacturing summit. ​ If you've been staying on top of artificial intelligence news lately, you...

Machines Won’t Replace Us, They’ll Force Us to Evolve

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” - John Culkin (based on Marshall McLuhan’s ideas) Something big is happening in design and engineering. For all of human history,...
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See a Vision of the Jobless Future in This Beautiful Short Film

What would a fully automated future without jobs look like? The Guardian recently released an animated short set in a time when machines dominate the workforce. The story follows the last human worker going...

Virtual Reality’s Moment of Truth Is Finally Here

On March 28, 2016, three years, seven months and twenty six days will have passed since Oculus blew through their Kickstarter goal and reignited the dream of virtual reality for so many people around...

Don’t Be Alarmed: AI Won’t Leave Half the World Unemployed

Recent alarmist headlines this week claim artificial intelligence (AI) will put half of us out of work. These headlines—and there were several—stem from comments by Rice University’s computer scientist Moshe Vardi who at the weekend...

In the Future, Ownerless Companies Will Live on the Blockchain

Among niche groups of computer scientists, the buzz surrounding blockchain has reached levels normally designated for Elon Musk. The technology is in its early and technically complicated stage of development, but experts say it’s...

Virtual Workplaces Will Liberate Talent, Dissolve Borders, and Rewrite the Source Code of Innovation

Innovation is the currency of the modern world. Naturally, we want to figure out how innovation happens and how to get more of it. The current recipe is to gather smart, passionate people together...

In a Driverless Future, What Happens to Today’s Drivers?

Self-driving cars are becoming a very real technology. The latest Tesla car has an autopilot feature. The CEO of Uber has stated that he will buy every self-driving car Tesla can produce for a...

Using Technology to Create Safe and Ethical Retail Supply Chains

On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza, an eight-story commercial building on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, killing 1,129 garment workers. The world watched in horror as thousands were pulled from the rubble. While...
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As Technology Shakes Social Foundations, It Might Also Build New Ones [Video]

Dr. Guy Standing is a distinguished political philosopher and one of the world’s foremost experts on basic income, which he has researched and promoted since the 1980s—long before it began trending in the media. We...

Today Corrupt Officials Spend Your Money—Tomorrow Blockchain Will Stop Them

Companies are integrating blockchain technology into ledgers, using it to track diamonds and ensure fair land distribution. The projects are first steps toward making governments and industries more transparent and eliminating fraud and corruption. Honduras...

Soon Countries Won’t Compete for Cheap Labor—But Robotics

You’ve heard the chatter: Robots and AI want your job. One famous study predicted 47% of today’s jobs may be automated by 2034. And if you want to know how likely it is you’ll...
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A Helper Robot Reveals the Near Future in This Beautiful Short Film

In Courtney Marsh’s short film ZARI a bullet-shaped helper robot trundles about doing chores. Its smooth white-on-black design is vaguely Apple-inspired; its interactions are Siri plus a few years. The film’s pace is deliberate and...

A Key Moment In Kenya: What Ed Tech Can Learn From the GMO Backlash

A trailblazing educational technology initiative backed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the World Bank has been stopped in its tracks by the government of Kenya. When it launched in 2009, Bridge International Academies served...

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will...

It’s On! Giant Robot Duel Kickstarted—Time to Build a Sweet Mecha

To call MegaBots audacious is a bit of an understatement. Not too long ago, the robotics company challenged Japan to a giant robot duel. Sure, it was cheeky to wear aviators and drape an American flag...

How VR and AR Will Reinvent Consumer Electronics, Education, and Retail

We live in an age of disruption — industries will be transformed. This post (part 2 of 3) is a quick look at three multibillion-dollar industries (consumer electronics, education, retail) that are ripe for disruption this decade...

The 3 Major Industries AI and Big Data Will Reshape This Decade

We live in an age of disruption — and that's a good thing. Industries will be transformed. Major companies will fall. Old systems will collapse as entrepreneurs figure out how to optimize and reinvent inefficient businesses, products,...

You Have a Notification: Welcome to the 24/7 Work Culture

Netflix recently announced an unlimited paid-leave policy that allows employees to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. It is trying to one-up...

Learning in an Era of Abundant Information and Fleeting Expertise

How to learn is changing, and it's changing fast. In the past, we used to learn by doing — we called them apprenticeships. Then the model shifted, and we learned by going to school. Now, it's going...

Which Way Next? A New Singularity Hub Channel to (Re)Imagine the Future

Every moment is a crossroads. Every day we make countless seemingly unimportant decisions, which linked together over weeks, months and years make up the fabric of our lives. This is true from the micro...

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...

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