The rise of robots in retail will be swift

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Yesterday US retail chain Lowe’s announced that it will be launching a robot assistant named OSHbot in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware outlets.

The Wall Street Journal notes:
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A positive view on the future of human work as intelligent machines rise

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I recently delivered a keynote on the Future of Work and Jobs at the Youth in Technology conference organized by the Australian Computer Society.

An article in CIO magazine titled Humans versus machines: Who will be employed in future? reviewed some of the highlights of Dawson’s speech. After the article’s opening it quotes:
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4 important implications of us reaching Crunch Time

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A little while ago we released our “Crunch Time” framework, looking at the 14 domains where we are hitting dramatic disruption, including work, money, privacy, government, education, media, climate and more. You can see the full Crunch Time framework on the Future Exploration Network website.

We have created a short video to introduce the concept of Crunch Time, and the four major implications that apply across the board.


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Mobile and design are shifting to the center of technology and work

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Today I am giving a keynote at the The Youth Festival of ICT (YITcon14) in Melbourne, with participation from over 1,000 students and young professionals.

The Australian newspaper yesterday featured an article titled Mobile exposes need for design skills, programming languages: Ross Dawson based on an interview with myself and Alan Patterson, CEO of the Australian Computer Society, which is organizing the conference.

The article begins: Read more

Will rapid advances in robots and AI displace work and jobs or create them?

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One of the most important – and uncertain – questions we face is whether rapid technological developments in domains such as robotics, artificial intelligence and telepresence will lead to substantial unemployment.

Pew Internet has just launched a very interesting report AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs which delves into this topic by drawing on almost 2,000 experts who responded to the question:

The economic impact of robotic advances and AI — Self-driving cars, intelligent digital agents that can act for you, and robots are advancing rapidly. Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?

They distilled the responses into positive and negative perspectives as well as points of agreement:
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Concept video: The Future of Work

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A while ago at Future Exploration Network we created the Future of Work Framework to provide a high-level overview of how the world of work is shifting.

Over the past year I have used the framework extensively as a starting point for executive briefings and strategy workshops on the strategic implications of the rapidly changing world of work.

However the static visual can be hard to interpret on its own, so we have now created a short video that delves into and narrates the framework.


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The future of offices: facilitating interaction and making work fun

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Last week I was interviewed on the Daily Edition TV program about the future of offices.

Click on the image below to see a video of the interview.

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Why social media oversharing may NOT ruin your career

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At the launch of the Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia in 2025 report I authored for McAfee, part of Intel Security, a question came up about the implications of social media indiscretions.

Angus Kidman of Lifehacker describes my response in an article Will Social Media Indiscretions Really Wreck Your Career?

Futurist Ross Dawson, who contributed to the report, agreed when I asked that question at the launch. “If everybody has something dark online, then you haven’t got anybody left to hire anymore,” he said. “So I think we will be more tolerant, because we’re seeing more of everybody’s lives. Many employers will feel that they’re happy to accept a few foibles on social media.”

“Human brains are malleable,” Dawson pointed out. “We are shaped by our environment, and our younger generation are in a different environment, This is something we must understand, and it’s not that it’s being different is wrong. And ultimately there will be more career opportunities for those who are engaged in the social world.”

This is not a new thought. Back in 2007 women’s magazine Madison ran a piece on the dangers of social media sharing quoting me. In those days it was important to highlight the risks of oversharing, as many people hadn’t yet fully grasped the implications of what they share online.
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Report: The Future of Digital Australia in 2025 and what Australians think

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I have been recently working with McAfee, now part of Intel Security, to write a report on Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia in 2025, being launched this morning in Parliament House in Canberra as part of the Federal Government’s Stay Smart Online Week.

SafeguardingFuture2025_cover_250_shadowThe report consists of my insights into the Future of Home, Social, Work, and GenNext in 2025, together with commentary from McAfee and other experts on how to keep safe in these worlds.
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Click on the report cover image left to download the report.

Accompanying the report, we did a survey of what Australians think about their digital future in 2025. The results of the survey are in the video below. There are some fascinating insights.

For now, please feel free to share the resources. I would love to hear your thoughts on the report.

Presentacion: Creando un Futuro Excepcional para su Negocio

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A couple of weeks ago I gave the keynote at sCRM-CEM y Redes Sociales conference in Bogota, Colombia, on the topic of Creando un Futuro Excepcional para su Negocio (Creating an Exceptional Future for your Organization).

Below are my slides translated into Spanish. I used these slides and presented in English with simultaneous translation. I was very pleased to get to Colombia and Peru on this trip as it helped me to begin to revive my rather rusty Spanish, but I’m still quite a way from being able to do a presentation in Spanish. I will work at it, and hopefully get more opportunities to get back to Latin America before long.

Many thanks to Rafael Rodriguez for the excellent translation and all his help for the conference!

More Spanish content coming soon…