What the AI Revolution Means for Knowledge Workers

And How Other Forms of Transformative Technologies Can Help Us Be More Human

Alexander Weekes
ILLUMINATION

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Whether I am speaking to a Director of Transformation at a university or an executive at a chartered body for a professional group of people, the same concern always rears its head. People are sick to death of the scaremongering about how “machines are going to take our jobs” or SkyNet (for those old enough to remember) taking over. Whenever a new technology with universal applications appears, new jobs are created and old jobs fade away.

Parallels with the Past

The Industrial Revolution saw Western economies move away from agrarian societies and move towards heavily industrialised ones. That meant that people migrated en masse from rural areas into cities. Factories in these cities centralised production, which significantly increased output. Technologies such as the steam engine improved textile and steel output, which in turn improved buildings, roads, and infrastructure… which in turn made it easy to produce and trade those outputs. The emphasis on primary sector work shifted to secondary sector work as manufacturing in the newly populated cities (and their factories) became the dominant factor of production. The general human experience had progressed. Standardisation of time inspired by cross-country rail travel (before this, Bristol was about 1 hour behind London), improved commercial transportation, and new work…

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Alexander Weekes
ILLUMINATION

Digital Strategy consultant and lecturer helping senior project executives build systems & processes to remove the stress from delivering innovative projects.