I began this comic book series with the idea that creating a science fiction prototype would be a useful tool in imagining—and planning for—the Future of Work. I have found it helpful to envision future scenarios where a mobile, flexible work force collaborates seamlessly with each other and with intelligent robots–whether in person at the office, or via holograms and immersive video from a remote field location. It’s been good to explore how the future might make meaningful work more accessible to more people—whether through assistive technology or alternative training programs.
And it’s also been valuable to explore the darker possibilities, where automation destroys our jobs, blackmail opens the door to a security breach, and (as Elon Musk fears) artificial intelligence becomes an existential threat.
The truth is, we don’t know what the future will bring. Because we haven’t finished creating it yet. It’s a work in progress, and many people are asking, what kind of future will it be?
This comic book series has been a call for a reasoned approach to the Future of Work, grounded in human values and enabled by technology. More than anything, it’s a reminder that we have choices, and we should make them wisely.
Envisioning various future scenarios has also been a valuable exercise as we prepare for our Future of Work Living Lab in February. We are assembling an exciting cohort of industry leaders to innovate together around some of the future’s most challenging issues—another step in creating a future we’ll want our children to live in.
But meanwhile, let’s check in one more time with Gail, who is making her own choices about the future of work – and the world.
Wondering where Gails journey began? Start here.
The Workspace of the Future: [Dark Future] Increases in artificial intelligence, robotics and automation create a broader income gap and greater global inequities
The Evolving Worker: Advances in technology unlocks human potential
Technology and the Augmented Worker: Machines together with workers bring about greater productivity and creativity