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Why Automating Someone’s Job Drove my Interest in the Future of Work

Facing the future of work head-on

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

During a college engineering internship, I was asked to help implement an advanced manufacturing technology. If successful, I would essentially eliminate one manufacturing worker’s job. And in order to apply the technology, I had to work directly with that worker to understand his work, both of us knowing full well what the result could be. It was tremendously difficult and, at times, heart wrenching for both of us.

This is the type of scenario many of us will be facing as what we now call “the future of work” makes its way into the present. There are going to be tremendous benefits as well as tough conversations and new challenges to overcome.

Confronting such a personal impact of automation early on in my career made a lasting impression on me. It motivated me to closely follow not only the overarching statistics about job loss and automation, but also the smaller personal impacts happening every day.

On that note, I am excited to announce that as of today, I will be writing a new newsletter on the future of work for MIT Technology Review, Clocking In! I will cover the news of the day shaping the workplace, but I will also be talking with experts in 3-D printing, economics, and automation, putting workplace statistics in context, and sharing the stories of everyday people working in the jobs of the future now.

I am excited to contribute to the conversation about technology’s impact on the future of work in your email inbox. Sign up for Clocking In today to get the first editions this week! May the workforce be with you.