Once again tech headlines across the globe are dominated by horror stories of how robots will push unemployment up to 50 percent within the next 30 years. The general consensus seems to be that if we give them the opportunity, they will destroy our economy.
These stories will routinely mention rise of the machines and Skynet in the same sentence to set the scene for the incoming robot and artificial intelligence-led dystopia. Many have jumped on the bandwagon of the predictions made by Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University who stated that robots may render human labor obsolete by 2045.
Verdi led a presentation on smart robots and their impact on society and asked the question, 'Does the technology we are developing ultimately benefit mankind?'
Are we guilty of looking at these potential technological advances with a 20th Century mindset? Shouldn't setting humans free from 40-50 hour weeks performing repetitive tasks be something to celebrate rather than fear?
It is true that low-skilled job roles will be at risk, along with traditional jobs that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Technology has disrupted nearly every industry imaginable, dragging them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. With this in mind, maybe we shouldn't be too surprised to hear that the workforce itself is about to face disruption. Many of the roles that are disappearing are those that are simply no longer relevant to today's society.
A future where automation and AI carry out the tasks we no longer want to and fully automated cars fill our roads is much closer than we probably think. And there is a wealth of new roles appearing on the digital landscape.
Innovative, creative and social skills will be in high demand and essential to making you stand out from a crowd of both humans and machines. Creative and technical roles required to maintain computers or robots will probably see man and machine working alongside each other rather than against.
Make no mistake: Your current role--and even office--probably won't exist in 30 years. But is that such a bad thing? This digital revolution is enabling the rise of solopreneurs and entrepreneurs to take control of their lives by thinking outside of the box--or should I say, the open plan office.
As a progressive society, having machines carrying out those unattractive and time-consuming tasks that will enable us all to concentrate on adding value to both business and indeed our own lives.
Gone are the days of riding it out in the same office for 40 years before being given a pat on the back and a shiny watch. Time is the new currency, and the global workforce merely needs to adapt to our constantly evolving world. Using our innovation to create growth and finding jobs robots cannot do will be easy enough--if you don't mind pivoting when things don't go your way.
Try and imagine not being stuck in rush-hour traffic every day. Imagine fitting your current workload around your lifestyle, rather than the other way around. Working with global citizens from any location at any time that suits you and your family commitments sounds much more rewarding than anything experienced by previous generations.
For many, a journey into the unknown is an incredibly scary prospect--and the main reason we're currently spreading fear. But it's time to start thinking differently and to take control of our lives and destiny.
The power of self, plus our unique ideas and creativity, are just a few areas where machines will never be able to compete. So what exactly are we afraid of?