Special Lecture: New Technology and the Changing Nature of Work
Over time, our economic and social systems have been revised, reformed, and revolutionized by a continuous stream of innovations which have constantly changed the way we work and live. This is what we call "progress". The pace of this evolutionary process has picked up speed in recent decades, however, straining the capacity of many in society to absorb and cope with these changes. Now we are on the cusp of perhaps the most revolutionary period we have ever faced. The question is, are we ready as individuals and societies for both the opportunities and challenges posed by these latest "inventions".
This presentation will cover four emerging advances in technology, which together have the potential to significantly disrupt and distort current economic and social models in ways difficult to predict:
- Artificial Intelligence – The rise of "thinking and learning" machines
- App Technology – The increasing availability of "electronic expertise"
- Additive Manufacturing – The introduction of 3D Printing: From concept to finished product in one step
- Atomic (Quantum) computing – Limitless computing and storage capacity on a nano-scale
The challenge for business in the introduction of these new technologies is to go beyond normal considerations of return on investment and net value added to address questions of career chaos, increasing income inequality, and systemic risks that are sure to follow. Failure to think ahead on these issues will likely result in political shifts (which we are already beginning to experience) that will not be long term positive for the business community
About the Instructor
Portwood, James, Ph.D.
Human Resource Management / Professor, Temple University
Dr. Portwood currently serves as the Director of Temple's Center for European Studies, and since 1990, he has been an adjunct Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. As a Fulbright Fellow, he has led several projects promoting economic and social transformation in Eastern Europe. He is an active scholar in the areas of International Human Resource Management, Global Change, and the Human Side of Organizational Transitions. His current interests include tracking international labor market trends, especially the increasing use of contingent workers, and the impact of Eastern Europe economic transitions on career opportunities for native and foreign professionals.