What will our children do? 10 jobs of the future
In 2010 we wrote a report for UK government on The Shape of Jobs to Come. The study highlighted new jobs that might emerge in the global economy by 2030 as a result of exponential developments and breakthroughs in science and technology. Many of those are now real jobs and the rest are still likely to materialise.
As an update on those ideas, our recent books The Future of Business, Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business we discuss a whole range of new industries and professions that might emerge in the next few decades:
1. Human Enhancement Technician – As a society, we are starting to augment the human body with chemical, genetic, electronic, and physical enhancements. Body shops will appear on the high street where appropriately trained technicians will be able to perform these upgrades – administering nootropic drugs, genetic modifications, 3D printed limbs, and electronic brain stimulation.
2. Cryogenics Concierge – As more people opt for cryogenic preservation at – or close to – the end of their life, they will need specialist advice. The cryo concierge will provide guidance on different types of cryo procedures, costs, financial planning, the family’s rights and responsibilities, what happens when you are regenerated, insurance, and how to manage the death.
New Societal Roles
3. Robot Whisperers – Artificially intelligent robots may comprise a significant part of the future workforce in retail, food service and hospitality. Companies deploying such robots may require a staff of professional human Robot Whisperers to stand guard whenever the bots interact with the public. This job would involve behind-the-scenes monitoring of robotic chefs and customer service robots to make sure they don’t run over a person's foot or knock over a gas grill or cause other such hazards. The Whisperer would also monitor for undesirable behvioral changes as the robots learn from and adapt to their environment. Although robotic employees could be highly efficient and autonomous, it is possible that unexpected stimuli in the environment could result in accidents or injuries. Robot Whisperers would be a profession geared toward instilling public trust in robot workers.
4. Inter-AI Conflict Resolution Specialist – AIs will increasingly need to collaborate. Our personal intelligent assistant may need to interact with the AIs of our bank, our employers, and all the vendors who serve us. Not all AIs will be born equal or have common goals, so disputes could arise. Human arbitrators may need to intervene to get the best outcome for humanity in these disputes.
5. Personal Festival Designer – for the super wealthy the next must have experience could be the creation of your own festival as birthday parties are so 2018. Your designer would craft the perfect combination of entertainment, glamping accommodation, gourmet food, tech support services, and on demand transport using drones and autonomous vehicles.
New Industries – New Professions
6. Synthetic Sommelier – The rise in the use of synthetic food products could drive the emergence of experts on all aspects of edible synthetics, lab grown meat, and 3D printed foodstuffs. These professionals would be excellent at developing the perfect synth meal for any occasion. They can tell you all the differences in smell, taste, and texture between the synth food and its real, authentic counterpart.
7. Chief Augmentation Officer (CAO) – Within a decade, an increasing number of staff could be seeking bodily augmentations that render them close to superhuman cyborgs. These humans 2.0 may need to have different management, working conditions, and
workplace rights – all designed and overseen by the CAO.
8. Space Junk Removal Supervisor – Near Earth orbit is increasingly congested by the remnants of old space missions, obsolete satellites, and the results of accidental collisions and losses. At the same time, the space sector is expected to explode – encompassing everything from asteroid mining and space tourism to the establishment of off world colonies. In response, dependent upon the type of junk being targeted, different fleets of specialised space craft would be controlled, deployed, and coordinated by Space Junk Removal Supervisors based at contractors' ground stations.
The experience in low Earth orbit will drive new policies, agreements, and procedures to prevent a similar issue developing around the Moon and Mars.
9. Life Manager for the Techno-Bewildered – Those who struggle with technology and get left behind in the new world order might find themselves placed under the mentorship of new ago social workers. These Life Managers would supervise our every decision, guide us on how to navigate the day to day, and help ensure we use our finances or guaranteed basic incomes in a sustainable manner.
10. Robo-Nanny – Replacing the human nanny or au pair, future robotic child carers could become a constant companion to our children at every stage of their development. Every facet of their character could be selected and tweaked by parents – emotional intelligence, values, ethics, levels of optimism, and even how the bot responds to difficult situations such as the passing of a grandparent. The bot could also be programmed to introduce new learning topics, languages, and life skills as required.
By Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, April Koury, and Helena Calle, Fast
About the writers
Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, April Koury, and Helena Calle are from Fast Future, a professional foresight firm specializing in delivering keynote speeches, executive education, research, and consulting on the emerging future. Fast Future publishes books from future thinkers around the world exploring how developments such as AI, robotics, exponential technologies, and disruptive thinking could impact individuals, societies, businesses, and governments and create the trillion-dollar sectors of the future.
Fid out more at www.fastfuture.com
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.