IoT, virtual reality, RPA, machine learning, and chatbots are just a handful of them. Those are the technology functions or features that did not exist merely 5 to 6 years ago. Yet, they are expected to replace humans in performing manual tasks in every way imaginable! These technology capabilities have caused panic in the race of human vs. machine resulting in many rushing to take up new digital skills to safeguard their livelihoods. This has far-reaching impacts on society, causing great anxiety and social disruptions.
In my recent engagement with technology graduates and mid-career professionals, more than 90% of them interviewed aspire to be a specialist in the areas of data science or artificial intelligence! What I have to say is this: it is unrealistic and self-defeating to expect that the entire world will just revolve around a couple of trendy technology domains. We do indeed need more of those skillsets. But just blindly jump on the bandwagon is a sure formula for failure! More importantly, it is a sure way of not having your true potentials fulfilled!
In the book, What Machines Can’t Do: Politics and Technology in the Industrial Enterprise, virtually every manufacturing company has plans for an automated “factory of the future.” But Robert J. Thomas argues that smart machines may not hold the key to an industrial renaissance. In this provocative and enlightening book, he takes us inside four successful manufacturing enterprises to reveal the social and political dynamics that are an integral part of new production technology. His interviews with nearly 300 individuals, from top corporate executives to engineers to workers and union representatives, give his study particular credibility and offer surprising insights into the organizational power struggles that determine the form and performance of new technologies.
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