Imagine that you haven’t yet left the bed of your New York smart home residence yet, and your implanted biochip sensor has already alerted your kitchen appliances to start cooking a breakfast tailored to your specific nutritional needs. While your AI-chefware begins to whip up a personalized breakfast of champions, your private cognitive assistant recites your schedule for the day. After you get dressed, your clothing-augmented virtual reality display informs you that your autonomous car is here to drive you to the airport. You enjoy your morning meal and then hit the road, where hyperloops and smart cars maneuver the asphalt with absolute mathematical precision––no traffic jams, only routine maintenance.
Onboard your two-hour SpaceX flight to Tokyo, you engage in a holographic face-to-face conference call with one of your key partners in Silicon Valley, as well as your R&D team. Thanks to a quick flight enabled by new-age tech, you don’t feel jet lagged in the slightest, enabling you to get to work immediately upon arrival. Once you get to a local data work-hub in Tokyo (global centers where people leverage the power of quantum computing to conduct analytics), you review and comb through your company’s data, scanning predictive patterns via integrated cloud-based systems that are embedded into manufacturing centers, marketing analytics and worldwide sales and financial metrics.
The reason that you are able to get all of that work done within a few hours is thanks to a sophisticated predictive AI engine, which parses through your data and collects swaths of new information in real-time. The entirety of your company’s financial, marketing and sales statistics are all neatly summarized into a dashboard, while reports are simultaneously generated for your management team.
With some extra time on your hands, you open an app on your smartphone that enables you to explore the latest data analytics gigs in your area. The future gig economy is expected to grow even more with the emergence of ever-increasing opportunities to make money on the side. In fact, by 2030, nomadic freelancers are projected to make up 50% of the entire workforce.
This forecasted increase in gig workers is reflective of the anticipated dynamic nature of our future society, one in which new technologies will surface at rapid intervals. This fast-paced, ever-changing environment will prompt society to recognize and award skills over degrees, as being able to “get the job done” will hold precedent over a static college education only suitable for certain tasks. Skills will serve as the framework for the economy of tomorrow. Thankfully, the workers of tomorrow can take advantage of this newfound environment and make an extra buck every now and then by fulfilling data analytics gigs in their free time.
After finishing up a freelance data job from the comfort of your mobile device, you leave the data work-hub to attend a business meeting in Tokyo. Subsequently, you fly back to Paris on a 30 minute SpaceX flight to meet with your colleagues for dinner. Thereafter, you are escorted back to your hotel by an autonomous vehicle and walk into your suite to be greeted by a piping-hot AI-prepped dinner.
The workplace environment of tomorrow will look nothing like that of today. Due to rapid advances in technology and AI-augmentation of virtually all processes imaginable, our world is bound to go fully digital. In this new, highly dynamic ecosystem, humans will require new skills, abilities and mindsets in order to fulfill jobs that we cannot even begin to forecast.
For one, according to predictions by Dell Technologies and the Institute for the Future, 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not even been created yet. That means that today’s businessmen and women, everyday employees and even big-enterprise CEOs don’t have the slightest whim about what the future workplace may resemble. Moreover, the new integration of artificial intelligence in everyday work processes will lead to the creation of over 130 million novel roles.
Though we might not be able to anticipate the future in exact terms, evidence strongly suggests that our society is tending toward full mergence with the machine. This means that we have the ability to make predictions as to what industries we can expect to rise and boom in the future, as well as which sectors will be wiped out completely.
As the prelude of this piece makes obvious, data will play an incredible role in the future workplace environment. According to IDC, global data storage will soar from 33 zettabytes to an astounding 175 zettabytes by 2025 (a 61% increase in the world’s data pool). Furthermore, firms are correct to believe that Big Data will become an essential component to the acceleration and enhancement of future enterprise operations. A survey conducted by Modis shows that 97% of companies believe data can be leveraged in the future to help optimize various business units.
Today, we call people who sift through masses of information “data analysts.” But in 2030, the term “data analyst” will serve as the overarching label for a slew of different, specialized data-related jobs, such as data analytics for IoT devices, drones, genetic modification, nutrition and more. In addition, unlike the workplace environment of today in which data workers play it solo, in the future, artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to augment the process of statistical gathering and analytics.
A helping hand in the form of AI is necessary. According to IDC, “44% of time is being wasted every week because data workers are unsuccessful in their activities.” As you read this article, 54 million people worldwide are wasting their precious time on work that AI could accomplish in the blink of an eye.
The day in the life of a 2030 businessman serves as a fictitious representation of what the future workplace ecosystem may resemble in just a few decades from now. Although the reality of 2030 may feel like a distant dream, relativity has been known to make time fly. As a society, we must be aware of the matter that time moves quickly, especially in the face of technological advancement. Sooner or later, you might just find yourself waking up to an AI voice assistant in the comfort of your very own smart home.
Mark Minevich is the principle founder of Going Global Ventures—read his full bio here.