Some of those "connections" are downright threatening. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, is expected to cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years, the World Economic Forum reports, with "enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape." According to an Oxford study, developed nations can expect to see job loss rates of up to 47% within the next 25 years. Additionally, a Pew Research Center study found that "robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as healthcare, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance." Most of us are increasingly unprepared for this rapidly changing world of working.
"The evolution of technology is, like the evolution of literature, heavily path-dependent. Culture plays a far more important role in the acceptance, adoption, and spread of technology than many of us are willing to acknowledge." Humanities degrees are needed in technology. They give context to the world we operate in day to day. Critical thinking skills, deeper understanding of the world around us, philosophy, ethics, communication, and creativity offer different approaches to problems posed by technology.
With robots potentially as not only your coworkers but also your competition, what capabilities and unique talents are essential to keep your job? We asked the co-chairs of IAOP's Global Human Capital Chapter: What skills do humans need to compete with robots? A recent KPMG white paper titled Rise of the Humans states that automation and robotics will transform jobs according to two main dimensions – Cognitive Automation and Cognitive Processing & Robotic Automation. The authors said Cognitive Automation changes fall into two main areas: the Leveraged Professional, which enables the people of lesser qualifications to perform at substantially higher levels, e.g., a paralegal giving attorney-level advice, or allowing a lower qualified professional deliver a world-class output. Second is the Connected Worker, which affords everyone in a specific role to access technologies and the best ideas and knowledge on a topic.