How to prepare for the future of work – human-machine collaboration, humanisation, education


Today’s Australian Financial Review features an article Ross Dawson on the future of work (and how to prepare for it), drawing on an interview with me.

Direct quotes from me in the article include:

“Human history is all about the automation of work,” he says.

“Right from the plough through to the spinning Jenny through to the automobile, through to any number of other inventions. They all destroy jobs. And at the same time we have always created more jobs than we have destroyed. The automation has been of jobs which have not been that desirable.

“There is a case you can make that we will continue to be a prosperous society and have meaningful work because we are continuing to unfold work which plays to our uniquely human capabilities.”

“In many domains we have seen that humans working with machines are superior to machines working alone or humans working alone.”

“The big story is not about humans being replaced with machines, this is about how we find ways in which humans and machines can be complementary and provide value,” Dawson says.

He says successful organisations must ensure that their staff learn continuously. “That must be embedded into every job, every role, everything we do.

“[Primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions] need to understand the extraordinary pace of change of the nature of work. None of them are adequate for people for a very different world moving forward.”

Individuals must also take responsibility for their learning trajectory.

“The organisation needs to provide facilities for it and the individual needs to take responsibility for being able to drive that and do that themselves.

“Every institution of every kind, we all need to be thinking what is it we can do now which will shift us more toward that ability for us to have, not just full employment but richer, more valued, more worthwhile employment.”


You can read the full article here.