• More than half of people surveyed believe technology will significantly change their jobs or make them obsolete in the next decade.
  • The biggest impact won’t come from any single technology, but instead through unique combinations, most of which will include artificial intelligence. 
  • Six emerging tech trends promise to bring innovation to the enterprise and ultimately add a human touch to automation.

Whether they admit it or not, most people are a little uneasy about how emerging technology is changing work — and the world — as we know it. In one recent global PwC survey, more than half of the 22,000 respondents believe automation will significantly change their jobs, or make them obsolete, within the next 10 years. But that doesn’t mean they’re living in fear. In fact, 61 percent were excited or optimistic about the impact technology would have on their jobs.

The big question is: What exactly will the future look like? 

I like to call it Human X. It’s a belief that the next wave of tech innovation isn’t about taking humans out of the equation. Instead, it’s about multiplying our capacity to work better, smarter and more seamlessly through technology. And that’s already happening, as the essential eight technologies, including AI and virtual reality, are converging to create new ways of working and living. 

We’re seeing this evolution come to life today in our Lab and in pilots we’re working on with clients. Humanising through technology will also be the focus of our Emerging Tech Exchange this week, where I’ll gather with business and academic leaders to explore how to integrate new and existing technologies seamlessly into our businesses and our lives, and how this tech can amplify our strengths and support our humanity. 

Get a glimpse of the six trends driving this innovation in 2020, and see our infographic, below, to learn more: 

Extended Reality — This umbrella term, which describes a continuum between everyday physical reality and fully immersive digital reality, includes virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality.

Automating Trust — This involves ensuring data authenticity, verifying identities, and creating seamless and fair multi-party transactions by using blockchain, AI and IoT.

Immersive Interfaces — These are natural and frictionless communication techniques between humans, computers and digital environments, including ones that use voice, touch and emotion.

Working Autonomy — To transition manual processes to digital ones requires the integration of automation, robotics and intelligent systems, unlocking the immense value that can be derived when they operate in unison.

Digital Reflection — This allows a virtual replica of a real-world product or process to be examined, experimented on or experienced in order to gain a deeper understanding of its environment and life cycle.

Hyperconnected Networks — They leverage the infrastructure of agile, purpose-built networks and pervasive IoT to intelligently connect everyone and everything to enable seamless interactions between humans and autonomous systems.

Infographic: 6 emerging tech trends

 

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Contributor

Scott Likens

Scott leads PwC’s New Services and Emerging Tech practice in the United States, Japan, and China.

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