September 15 2019 Episodes
Episode #25: Why Being A Better Human Is The Best Skill to Have in the Age of AI & Automation
In today’s episode of Ayehu’s podcast we interview Robert H. Brown – Vice President of the Center for the Future of Work.
How do you envision the future of work? More utopian or more dystopian? Are we destined for a scenario where robots do all the work, leaving our biggest challenge to be deciding what to do with our abundance of leisure time? Or are we doomed to experience massive social unrest owing to the multitudes of unemployed displaced by those same robots? As any good lawyer will tell you, the answer depends.
While we don’t retain attorneys to help us divine what lies ahead, we do rely on futurists like Robert H. Brown to produce educated predictions. As Vice-President of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, Robert leads a team that’s articulated a fascinating picture of that future based on extensive research and global insights. We delve into some of his team’s findings, which turn out to be neither utopian nor dystopian. Along the way we’ll discover why despite rapid advances in AI, Automation, and other technologies, the key to being gainfully employed in the future of work, might just come down to being a better human.
Guy Nadivi: Welcome everyone. My name is Guy Nadivi and I’m the host of Intelligent Automation Radio. Our guest on today’s episode is Robert H. Brown, Vice President of The Center for the Future of Work, a Cognizant Technology Solutions think tank.
Guy Nadivi: Regular listeners of our show will recognize Robert as the inaugural guest from our first podcast episode, and still one of the most compelling people we’ve had on the show, as is the topic of the future of work.
Guy Nadivi: Given the pace at which several rapidly advancing technologies are changing the nature of work today and driving us towards that future, in some cases much faster than people are comfortable with, we felt it was imperative to bring Robert back and query him on his think tank’s latest findings about this immensely absorbing topic. Robert, welcome back to Intelligent Automation Radio.
Robert H. Brown: Great to be with you, Guy. Thanks for having me back.
Guy Nadivi: Robert, I want to start out today with a quote from Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant who once said, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights, while looking out the back window.”
Guy Nadivi: Now, you make a living predicting the future of work, but I’m pretty sure you’re not doing it by driving down a dark country road at night staring out the back window. Something I’m sure our audience is eager to hear about is how does The Center for the Future of Work go about the fascinating and important task of predicting how we will work in the years ahead?
Robert H. Brown: It is a great question and I love the Drucker quote. We have our own spin on this, Guy. It’s that the future of work funnily enough is it’s always in the future, but your future starts tomorrow. That may sound glib, but the idea behind that is you and I have been working for long enough to know that days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into quarters, quarters turn into years, and years turn into decades.
Robert H. Brown: The fact that the future of work starts tomorrow in some respects gives I think people some comfort in knowing that they have agency and there are steps that they can take in their present job, maybe in future jobs that they don’t even know exists yet that are waiting out there for them.
Robert H. Brown: Part of our job is to shine as bright a light as we can, not only into some of the future long range scenarios that we predict, but also what are the step stone paths right now that people just might be unaware of.
Robert H. Brown: My own background looking through the rear view mirror of going back to Drucker for a minute, I studied history in school and I think as a futurist, that is a really good setup for the type of work that we do because frankly, The Center for the Future of Work, a lot of what we do is thinking about corporate strategy.
Robert H. Brown: Not just only for Cognizant, but for our clients and for the industries in which our clients are. History, if nothing else, it’s a branch logic of if, this, then, that, all the way back through history and you can look at the Napoleonic Wars, you could look at- … To Normandy.
Robert H. Brown: Everything is if this have happened. If you flip the gatefold of that forward into the future and you see some of the embryonic technologies that are coming into the frame now and what the time cycle might be for some of those to come to pass that if this comes to pass and we cross this wire with X platform or capability or Y internet of things capability, this will be a disruptive game changer that will strategically change the trajectory for an industry and therefore, it will change the nature of work in that industry.
Robert H. Brown: There’s a couple of factors in there to think about the future of work and how you do it. The last thing I would say is just we try to read as much as we can. There’s a lot of thinkers that are writing about this subject.
Robert H. Brown: We try to consume as much of that as we can. We attend conferences all the time, we engage with Cognizant’s customers. Typically, that’s people that have a direct line of sight to strategy for their firm, and I think that you take all of that on board and it gives you a pretty rooted grounding in some of the factors that help you make good predictions.
Robert H. Brown: In my case, before I came to Cognizant five years ago, I was Managing Vice President of Research for a team of researchers at Gartner. For those of you listeners that know Gartner, there’s a lot of predictions in terms of being a market analyst.
Robert H. Brown: Taking all of that on background, The Center for the Future of Work, most of us typically hail from that analyst background. Taking all of that on balance, it’s a bit of art, it’s a bit of science, a lot of observation for sure and, again, if nothing else, the future of work starts tomorrow. It’s right in front of our face.
Guy Nadivi: Robert, with all that reading and research that your think tank does, you’re well aware that there’s some anxiety out there about how the advances in AI, automation, and other technologies are going to impact people’s jobs.
Guy Nadivi: In your recent report entitled “From/To: Everything You Wanted To Know About The Future of Work But Were Afraid To Ask”, your think tank advocates a profound yet simple countermeasure to the apprehension that some people are beginning to feel.
Guy Nadivi: Specifically, you recommend that people, especially middle-aged professionals, stop allowing so much of their identity to be based on their job. In fact, you implore them to stop holding their identities captive to their job and to start shifting how they think about what they do to be more about the tasks they perform. Why do you think this syntactical strategy is so necessary?
Robert H. Brown: I think it’s really important because there is this pervasive belief out there that my job is going to go up in a puff of smoke as a result of algorithms, automation, or AI. There’s nothing that I can do about it, I have no agency in it and it’s a foregone conclusion, and we don’t believe that for a moment.
Robert H. Brown: I think for us, the main question to ask is not will my job be automated? The question to ask is what task of my job will be automated? Guy, I can’t remember if we talked about this in the podcast we did a year ago or not, but a couple of years ago, we did – we interviewed 2,000 senior executives worldwide who had line of sight to strategy for their firms.
Robert H. Brown: We asked them, “What are the skills that you’re going to need to run your business today and by 2020?” Without fail, every single one of those executives said not only were they going to need skills that were innately human, things like communication skills, analytical thinking, global operating skills, teamwork, on and on.
Robert H. Brown: Those skills were not eroding, in fact, they were growing in the average differential, but across the time period that we asked them was they needed 15% more of those skills on average.
Robert H. Brown: I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked, the average length of a day was 24 hours. Theoretically, we’re supposed to be working five days a week. We all work hard so we work a little bit more than that. But the bottom line is where are you personally going to get your 15%? Where do you get that margin?
Robert H. Brown: Well, the answer is figuring out at the task level which tasks go to the bot and which ones can you then therefore double down on and be a better human in terms of your ability to bring those skills like analytical thinking, reasoning, being able to answer the question, “What’s the right thing to do with judgment and ethics?”
Robert H. Brown: I think a lot of work processes and work tasks that people are engaged in today is very rote and repetitive work. I mean, even doctors and lawyers, if you think about the most white-collar of white-collar employees, there’s a lot that doctors and lawyers do that are very rote and repetitive.
Robert H. Brown: I would argue if you’re a doctor and you have to tell somebody who is really sick, “Hey, you’ve got six months to live.” You must have an extraordinary amount of humanistic empathic behavior to do that well.
Robert H. Brown: I would say that’s where the rubber hits the road for really good doctors. I think we’ve all had loved ones that may have, maybe not in life-threatening situations where you have a doctor that can look you in the eye, be empathic and maybe not be a robot themselves.
Robert H. Brown: That’s really important. If paperwork burnout is at the root of some good doctors leaving a profession, that’s going to be really important that we look at those tasks that are leading to as you said, you started off with the question, the identification of oneself with work being bound up in that, and if you hate what you do and there’s a way to be able to use the machines such as they are going forward to take away some of that drudgery, let’s make it happen.
Guy Nadivi: With regards to some of your future tasks being done by bots, let’s talk about professionals using AI to augment the tasks they perform. What are some of the more interesting ways you’ve seen people using machine intelligence to, & I’m quoting you here, “….augment and expand human capability, creativity, empathy and constructive problem solving” in a quest to augment their work.
Robert H. Brown: I think you can look around and you see examples of that augmentation happening in lots of different domains. We talked about medicine for a moment and I’ve just finished doing a lot of research on augmented reality.
Robert H. Brown: One of the companies that I love talking about as a startup here in San Francisco called Augmedix, and Augmedix uses Google glass as the medium for allowing a doctor to be in the doctor’s office with a patient, talk about what’s going on, and natural language processing will actually incept that conversation and pre-populate the electronic medical record.
Robert H. Brown: The doctor just has to affirm that yes, indeed that information is correct without having to run a secondary work process to effectively fill out a piece of paperwork even though it might be on a tablet.
Robert H. Brown: I think that one’s pretty cool. That’s really augmentative. Again, in the realm of augmented reality, you could think about technicians that are going to let’s say it’s your cable guy coming to your house to fix your modem or your router and they can’t quite troubleshoot it.
Robert H. Brown: They can basically have a manager back at head office, see what they … See what I see capabilities in the moment and guide them to the right fix. Customer satisfaction goes up, they’re not left scratching their head with a customer that’s barking at them, and gives them more time in the field fixing problems.
Robert H. Brown: In fact, in a similar vein, there is a … If you think about the way that Boeing does wiring harnesses on large jumbo jets, they are now using skylight which is an augmented reality platform to allow their wiring technicians to not have to look at paper manuals, interrupt driven processes where you’re looking away and making mistakes.
Robert H. Brown: They’re actually able to do it faster, better, fewer errors, and leading to happier employees as a result. Then just think about people that are doing things like logistics that are doing delivery. Folks in supply chain, your UPS driver, being able to use some really simple augmentative tools like Google Maps, way-finding that saves a lot of time, speeds up the supply chain, customers are happier.
Robert H. Brown: I think what we’re finding is that from where we might have been, three, four or five years ago where we’re going to see a robot apocalypse, in fact, we’re seeing the assistive robots that are allowing people to do better jobs with greater job satisfaction, take away some of the pain, take away some of the drudgery.
Robert H. Brown: That’s been really exciting to see. I think if you … As they say, you squint and you look into some of the jobs of the future that we’re predicting even within the last one to two years since we started describing some of those jobs, you’re seeing examples all over the place.
Guy Nadivi: Let me divert a little bit and ask you this question. In 2017, Bill Gates proposed taxing robots at a rate commensurate with what was being paid by the worker they replaced. If a company implemented a robot that supplants a factory worker making $70K a year, the company would be taxed at the factory worker’s income level to offset losses and things like social security taxes.
Guy Nadivi: My question for you then Robert is should robots be taxed including software robots or AI? If so, should any of the tax revenue raised be used to retrain and re-skill displaced workers?
Robert H. Brown: Yeah, it’s a great question. I actually wrote a blog post about this at the time that Bill Gates made that proposal and in a word – I was against it. I mean, well, it’s not a word, it’s a phrase, but if I say I was against the idea of doing a per robot tax and there was a couple of reasons why I think that is.
Robert H. Brown: On the one hand, you could recoup the same amount of tax revenue on the basis of corporate gains. It’s a taxation by another way, but I think the problem is on a per robot basis, it will basically impede progress.
Robert H. Brown: Again, thinking about the emergency room or in getting insurance claims filed or some of the other customer service improvements that we want to see happen. If you throw that taxation on a per bot basis, it will necessarily – not plunge us into a dark age as relative to innovation, but it will hamper much needed innovation that we need.
Robert H. Brown: There’s a lot of problems that we need to fix and technology is a part of the solution. It’s one part, it’s an important part, but I think taxation of that magnitude would unnecessarily impede the progress.
Robert H. Brown: Again, I’m certainly not a poster child for the Howard Jarvis Society here, but I think you can get the tax revenue that you need to offset some of that by other means. I’m not a proponent of that.
Guy Nadivi: Another one of the really great white papers available from your think tank at FutureOfWork.com is called “21 More Jobs of the Future: A Guide to Getting and Staying Employed Through 2029”. This is a sequel of course to your original “21 Jobs of the Future”.
Guy Nadivi: Robert, can you tell us what you’re predicting, three of the more interesting jobs of the future will be over the next decade?
Robert H. Brown: We now have a basket as you said, 21 plus 21 equals 42. The Douglas Adams fans that are listening will appreciate that and Jackie Robinson fans too. But in all seriousness, we have a basket of 42 jobs now.
Robert H. Brown: Picking three is hard, but one of the things that folks will find if they go and check out those reports is that some jobs will be very highly tech-centric and may indeed require an electrical engineering, computer science degree, but a lot of them will not.
Robert H. Brown: They’ll be low in tech-centricity. They will – how an Uber driver uses a very sophisticated and technologically rich platform to do his or her job, but they don’t have to have a computer science degree to use that technology.
Robert H. Brown: We see many jobs that will be infused with technology, but are jobs that lots and lots of people can do. One fun one since that was your question, what are some of the fun jobs?
Robert H. Brown: If anybody out there is a fan of Marie Kondo, she came out with her book a couple of years ago, has the super successful Netflix show about helping people find joy through the Japanese art of decluttering.
Robert H. Brown: One of the jobs that we’ve identified is what we’re calling the “Joy Adjutant” is a condo consultant if you like, but the idea is that for people that are decluttering, probably most of that stuff is going to find its way to Goodwill and it will get thrown away into a landfill.
Robert H. Brown: What if somebody were to invent a platform that would allow you to categorize that stuff in the moment, get a price on it and move it through an online auction platform like an eBay or something and provide instant liquidity for the household.
Robert H. Brown: But the real catalyst to sparking that joy, is like Marie Kondo does, is you need the adjutant. You need the person there with you in the moment to help you make meaningful decisions about your stuff.
Robert H. Brown: That’s a fun one and the real skill set in there is how you can engage with people, but we envision there being a really slick platform on the back end of that to help people dispose of their stuff and actually, provide some liquidity for their households. That’s one.
Robert H. Brown: A little bit of a serious note, we’re looking at climate change all over the place and one of the roles that we identified was the “Tidewater Architect”. Any at sea level city whether it’s Osaka, Japan, Shanghai, China, Miami, Florida, New Orleans is going to have to deal with the consequences of sea level rise.
Robert H. Brown: The Tidewater Architect role is a civil engineering role that we’ve identified that will probably have a very large radius of adjacent jobs around this architect role to help deal with that, and the way that we conceived of this job is that unlike the Dutch model or what the Italians have done in Venice or even The Thames Barrier in London where you’re literally walling off the sea.
Robert H. Brown: The Tidewater Architect is how can you actually work with nature and with ecology as this inevitable sea rise happens and work within the inner city in an ecologically friendly way as that occurs.
Robert H. Brown: By the way, all of these jobs are written up as JDs (Job Descriptions). It’s like when you have to hire for a job today like a social media manager, you have a job description with skills and quals and educational background.
Robert H. Brown: All of these are written up in that way. And then just to close out, maybe one that’s a little bit further out on the time horizon, talked about a lot of the research I’ve been doing on augmented reality and we have a role called the “Augmented Reality Journey Builder”.
Robert H. Brown: The idea about that job, and this is maybe for your listeners that are very, very knowledgeable around process. Theoretically, augmented reality for any process involving people and time and space, we talked about wiring harnesses a second ago.
Robert H. Brown: Any process people in time and space will theoretically melt in a good way using augmented reality as a catalyst for rethinking that work process. For the journey builder, it could be something that is a work process. It could be an educational process. It could be a media and entertainment process.
Robert H. Brown: I would say if you can imagine if instead of Niantic inventing Pokemon Go, what if Tesla had invented Pokemon Go? And with all due consideration for safety while you’re in your morning commute, how could they use an Augmented Reality Journey Builder to gamify your route and, “Oh, by the way, help unpick the Gordian Knot of commute traffic in the morning as a part of that.”
Robert H. Brown: That’s a really fun one. I think you’re going to see a lot of interdisciplinary work to make that reality come to pass. In fact, with any luck, fingers crossed, I’m going to be hosting a panel at South By Southwest in the Spring of 2020 where we’ve got a participant from one of the big gaming engines out there if you guys are familiar with the Unreal Engine from Epic.
Robert H. Brown: I’ve got the head of the immersive, then The Immersion Lab at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, doing a lot of cutting edge stuff in the media and entertainment space on augmented reality, journey building, and then an actual practitioner, a very young, a person who’s coding these experiences on the Facebook AR Spark platform.
Robert H. Brown: With any luck, we’ll get picked to do that and it will be fun to talk about the real reality of the Augmented Reality Journey Builder.
Guy Nadivi: It’s really fascinating to hear you describe this glimpse of the future of some of these jobs. It could be a little bit difficult to envision, but then I think back to 15, 18 years ago, if somebody like yourself had started talking about the future job of Social Media Manager, people may have had difficulty understanding.
Guy Nadivi: Now every single company, even small ones have a Social Media Manager or somebody that they outsource to manage their social media.
Robert H. Brown: Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s such a good example. We talk about that a lot. The notion of the help wanted ad for the Twitter Data Wrangler, apply within. You would’ve thought it was nuts 15 years ago because Twitter hadn’t been invented yet, but yet, here we are, welcome to 2019.
Robert H. Brown: That’s that idea that the future of work starts tomorrow, but days turn into weeks to months to years and then to decades. Suddenly, you’ve got to think about, “Well, what might the possibilities be here?”
Robert H. Brown: On some of these rather goofy-sounding jobs of the future, and our 21 Jobs of the Future, we’ve got one in there called the Digital Tailor and that the idea being that there’s some massive percentage of online things that are actually returned because they don’t fit right.
Robert H. Brown: You order the thing expecting a Savile Row suit and it’s like two sizes too small so you send it back. What I do with Digital Tailor is somebody that when I was a kid, my mom used to have … The Avon lady would come to the house.
Robert H. Brown: With Digital Tailors, somebody comes to the house and makes sure that there’s a perfect fit every time using digital tools and hey, lo and behold within the last I think 9 to 12 months, the Zozosuit has come on the market and is… we call them the “spotted in the wild” moments where it’s like, “Hey, we had this wild sounding idea, but it’s actually coming to pas.”
Robert H. Brown: You squint, you see these examples of the future of work popping up all over the place.
Guy Nadivi: There’s so many new types of jobs that are going to exist in the very near future that will entail so many different skillsets. You spoke about some of them, but I still think it’s worth asking you Robert, what do you feel are the top, let’s say 3 to 5 skills that people in today’s workforce can or should acquire to remain relevant in the workplace of the future?
Robert H. Brown: Well, we talked a little bit about that survey that we ran a couple of years ago where we asked about what are the most important skills that businesses are going to need in the future.
Robert H. Brown: They’re all eminently human skills. There is a lot of them. I don’t think right at the top of the list of our research, the primary research, but I also definitely agree with this. Analytical thinking is going to be really important.
Robert H. Brown: The more technology we put into business, into business processes, ways of working and interacting, the more data is part and parcel of that. The ability to get to grips with that and be analytical in our thinking in a world that’s awash with data is going to be very important.
Robert H. Brown: It doesn’t mean that everybody needs to be a math major or a data scientist. In fact, there’s precious few data scientists really out there today, but one of the jobs of the future we talked about was the “Data Detective”, and part of that skill set was not necessarily knowing deep, deep math, but being able to ask really good questions.
Robert H. Brown: You think about like a police detective today, that’s what they do. They ask really good questions, but in the context of looking at data, humans, the computers are really good at answering many of these questions, but if you frame the right hypothesis and frame the right question, that’s a really innately human skill.
Robert H. Brown: Analytical thinking is definitely a part of that. Again, going to our data set, and I’m just looking at it now, the number two after analytical thinking was global operating skills. The world is getting smaller. Although there’s some debate about that.
Robert H. Brown: We have in the “From/To” report, we talk about where we’re going from the internet which was the global village to the splinternet. You can look at what China is doing with their frame for their citizens and how there’s things like facial recognition everywhere, citizen’s scores.
Robert H. Brown: You can look at what happened in Europe with GDPR. The consensus is fracturing a bit, but being, if you’ll forgive the word, cognizant of the global interplay that we have within the current global posture if you like.
Robert H. Brown: I think that’s going to be very, very important. Strategic thinking was #3, and this is something that we talked about at the outset is like even in a mid-level role or a junior role, if you have a direct line of sight to the strategy of your company or the reasons why your company is making decisions, given the strategic posture they have to take in their competitive set or within their industry that might be going through lightning fast change, that’s going to serve you well because you get the context of how your role is contributing to that.
Robert H. Brown: Leadership, innovation, decision-making, selling, all of those things are going to be very important in the future and as I said before, they’re all innately human skills that bots can’t do. They can help, but they can’t do them.
Guy Nadivi: Nevertheless, it would seem that whether you need technical skills or human skills, all roads to the future of work are paved with a layer of education. What I’d like to ask you Robert is what one thing do you think our education system could do today to better prepare young people for the radical changes coming to the workplace of tomorrow?
Robert H. Brown: It’s a huge question, but I think if I had to boil it down to one thing, it’s just to be aware of the fact that the future is going to look very different from the past. Being able to practice the future. I think for schools, from elementary school all the way through to higher education, it’s going to be critical to use the notion of the future of work as a galvanizing prism through which to look through horizontally ossified, stovepipe discipline.
Robert H. Brown: The future of work is definitely something that galvanizes like I said history, economics, computer science, ethics, philosophy, biotech, the list goes on and for a lot of big universities are stove-piped. You have your College of Letters & Science, College of Engineering and they don’t really talk to each other and the future is coming at us pretty fast.
Robert H. Brown: I think that’s really, really important. I also think just with respect to education, the notion that even if you go to college, you’re going to go to college for four years and then go run off a 40 year career and never learn again is over.
Robert H. Brown: We are going to be lifelong learners. We need to be prepared for lifelong learning. My colleague Caroline Styr has just done some really good research on what that looks like and in fact, back to “21 Jobs of the Future” for a moment, one of the roles that we identified is the “Uni for Life Coordinator” and that bespeaks somebody that can help let’s say mid-level or late career individuals think about what types of learning do I need to engage in to make sure that my skills are optimized and ones that are maybe eroding, which ones do I need to refresh?
Guy Nadivi: I think everybody needs to revise their mindset about that – that lifelong learning is a part of your work life going forward.
Robert H. Brown: I think a lot of … Guy, just on that, sometimes people may roll their eyes to that notion, but I think in a lot of at least American businesses, even if your company is talking about education and training, maybe it’s this thing called the IDP, right? We all kind of have that in one form or another.
Robert H. Brown: The Individual Development Plan, maybe 5% of your overall performance rating. It’s an afterthought. It’s like one other thing that I gotta do, but how much emphasis is the company really putting on it?
Robert H. Brown: Companies need to change their mindset as well and lead by example. I use the phrase a moment ago, have a strategy for being strategic for your employees and then give people the latitude to practice the future.
Robert H. Brown: That might be using an AR/VR platform for a different type of learning. It might be giving them the latitude to go to specific conferences that they don’t feel empowered to go and take.
Robert H. Brown: It might be allowing them to set up … We’re getting better on this, but set up things like diversity and inclusion councils within businesses. Diversity and inclusion, you hear it talked about a lot today, but I can guarantee you, it’s going to be critical in the future of work.
Robert H. Brown: Not only because it’s the right thing to do and America is made up of many, many different types of people, but if we’re not including people in the development of the new machines, the algorithms, the automation, the AI, really bad things are going to happen.
Robert H. Brown: Again, back to 21 jobs of the future for a moment, one of the jobs we’ve identified is the Algorithm Bias Auditor, but this comes down to people and giving people the latitude to do things like skills refresh, giving them some guidance, giving them some support as opposed to hanging a millstone around their neck and calling it the IDP and saying, “Yeah, get to that when you can. We don’t really, we don’t really care about it anymore than you do.”
Guy Nadivi: Now, I opened today’s episode with a quote about the future and I’d like to close out with one. Here it is. “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it if you have to with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” Robert, care to guess who that quote is from?
Robert H. Brown: Go for it. No, I have no idea. Tell me who that quote’s from.
Guy Nadivi: That quote is from Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor from nearly two millennia ago which as a History major you’ll appreciate, and I think his ancient words are just as applicable in the 21st century as they were in his own day.
Robert H. Brown: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, Socrates going way back in the midst of time. Socrates had a quote. I think I’m going to mangle it, but it was something along the order of writing things down will create forgetfulness in the learner’s mind. There you have it. From Socrates’ mouth to your ears.
Guy Nadivi: All right, I’d like to mention again the report that The Center for the Future of Work produced entitled “From/To: Everything You Wanted To Know About The Future of Work But Were Afraid To Ask”.
Guy Nadivi: It not only focuses on the future of work, but it’s a tour de force covering many of the technologies and trends that are shaping that future. It’s a highly entertaining read and quite insightful to. Be sure to check it out.
Guy Nadivi: All right, it looks like that’s all the time we have for on this episode of Intelligent Automation Radio. Robert, once again, you’ve accomplished what I think is the greatest thing a guest can do on our show which is make us think and leave us curious for more.
Guy Nadivi: Thank you so much for coming back and updating us about the future of work. It’s been fantastic having you on the show again.
Robert H. Brown: Thanks a lot, Guy. Great to be with you. I really appreciate it.
Guy Nadivi: Robert H. Brown, Vice President of The Center for the Future of Work, a Cognizant Technology Solutions think tank. Thank you for listening everyone and remember – don’t hesitate, automate.
Robert H. Brown
Vice President of the Center for the Future of Work.
Robert Hoyle Brown is a leader in the Center for the Future of Work, a global think tank with a charter from Cognizant Technology Solutions to examine how work is changing, and will change, in response to the emergence of the Age of Algorithms, Automation and AI.
As a futurist, he has focused extensively on the topics of robotics, automation, privacy and augmented reality and their impact on business processes.
Since joining Cognizant in 2014, he has served as head of strategy for Cognizant's Digital Operations practice, and worked intensively with Cognizant’s Business Accelerator leadership to drive the development of its intelligent automation strategy, messaging and go-to-market outreach.
Robert can be found at:
“Part of our job is to shine as bright a light as we can, not only into some of the future long range scenarios that we predict, but also what are the step stone paths right now that people just might be unaware of.”
" …there is this pervasive belief out there that my job is going to go up in a puff of smoke as a result of algorithms, automation, or AI. There's nothing that I can do about it, I have no agency in it and it's a foregone conclusion, and we don't believe that for a moment. I think for us, the main question to ask is not will my job be automated? The question to ask is what task of my job will be automated?”
“The more technology we put into business, into business processes, ways of working and interacting, the more data is part and parcel of that. The ability to get to grips with that and be analytical in our thinking in a world that's awash with data is going to be very important.”
“Leadership, innovation, decision-making, selling, all of those things are going to be very important in the future and as I said before, they're all innately human skills that bots can't do. They can help, but they can't do them.”
“We are going to be lifelong learners. We need to be prepared for lifelong learning.”
Ayehu’s IT automation and orchestration platform powered by AI is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by hundreds of major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe.
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Episode #1: Automation and the Future of Work
Episode #2: Applying Agility to an Entire Enterprise
Episode #3: Enabling Positive Disruption with AI, Automation and the Future of Work
Episode #4: How to Manage the Increasingly Complicated Nature of IT Operations
Episode #5: Why your organization should aim to become a Digital Master (DTI) report
Episode #6: Insights from IBM: Digital Workforce and a Software-Based Labor Model
Episode #7: Developments Influencing the Automation Standards of the Future
Episode #8: A Critical Analysis of AI’s Future Potential & Current Breakthroughs
Episode #9: How Automation and AI are Disrupting Healthcare Information Technology
Episode #10: Key Findings From Researching the AI Market & How They Impact IT
Episode #11: Key Metrics that Justify Automation Projects & Win Budget Approvals
Episode #12: How Cognitive Digital Twins May Soon Impact Everything
Episode #13: The Gold Rush Being Created By Conversational AI
Episode #14: How Automation Can Reduce the Risks of Cyber Security Threats
Episode #15: Leveraging Predictive Analytics to Transform IT from Reactive to Proactive
Episode #16: How the Coming Tsunami of AI & Automation Will Impact Every Aspect of Enterprise Operations
Episode #17: Back to the Future of AI & Machine Learning
Episode #18: Implementing Automation From A Small Company Perspective
Episode #19: Why Embracing Consumerization is Key To Delivering Enterprise-Scale Automation
Episode #20: Applying Ancient Greek Wisdom to 21st Century Emerging Technologies
Episode #21: Powering Up Energy & Utilities Providers’ Digital Transformation with Intelligent Automation & Ai
Episode #22: A Prominent VC’s Advice for AI & Automation Entrepreneurs
Episode #23: How Automation Digitally Transformed British Law Enforcement
Episode #24: Should Enterprises Use AI & Machine Learning Just Because They Can?
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Neither the Intelligent Automation Radio Podcast, Ayehu, nor the guest interviewed on the podcast are making any recommendations as to investing in this or any other automation technology. The information in this podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please do you own due diligence and consult with a professional adviser before making any investment