There is no doubt we are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution – one in which digital technology is more than just an accessory. We are past simply talking about the internet as a business enabler; instead, we are seeing the lines between the physical, biological, and digital worlds begin to blur. AI and automation are being integrated into the very fabric of our lives, as workers and consumers, such that we may not know when we are talking to a real person on the phone as in the case of Google Duplex, or whether the competition for our next job is human or android.
This is also a time marked by hugely accelerated change. Twenty years ago, smartphones and social media did not exist, and “digital targeting” was something you did in a video game. (Who remembers “Monkey Ball”?) There is no sign that this speed of revolution will let up.
According to research by GfK Consumer Life, many Americans agree that change is good, and that we need more of it – a sentiment that has dramatically increased since 2011. Technology is boosting efficiency and productivity, giving employees room to focus on more valuable tasks; but it can also be so effective that it makes humans expendable. Many of the jobs our children will hold do not exist yet; and many of today’s jobs are destined to become obsolete. Some argue however that AI will generate more jobs than it will kill.
So how can we prepare for this uncertain future, as workers and concerned consumers?
New generations, new expectations
At the World Economic Forum this year, Alibaba founder Jack Ma stressed the values of creativity and emotional IQ as critical to human success when competing with machines for the jobs of tomorrow. A new focus on future education and training

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