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Technology and the Future of Work


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My talk at Closing the Gap, Jeff Greene's conference on technology and income inequality, held in Palm Beach on Dec 7-8, 2015. I talk about lessons from technology for 21st century business.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Technology and the Future of Work

  1. Technology and the Future of Work Tim O’Reilly O’Reilly Media @timoreilly Closing the Gap December 8, 2015 #CTG15PB
  2. @timoreilly
  3. @timoreilly AI, Robots, and Technological Unemployment?
  4. “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” William Gibson
  5. @timoreilly The On-Demand Economy Networks >
  6. @timoreilly
  7. @timoreilly
  8. @timoreilly Networks and the Nature of the Firm “The existence of high transaction costs outside firms led to the emergence of the firm as we know it, and management as we know it….The reverse side of Coase’s argument is as important: If the (transaction) costs of exchanging value in the society at large go down drastically as is happening today, the form and logic of economic and organizational entities necessarily need to change! The core firm should now be small and agile, with a large network. The mainstream firm, as we have known it, becomes the more expensive alternative. This is something that Ronald Coase did not see coming. Accordingly, a very different kind of management is needed when coordination can be performed without intermediaries with the help of new technologies. Apps can do now what managers used to do. [Bolding mine] Today, we stand on the threshold of an economy where the familiar economic entities are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The Internet, and new Internet-based firms, rather than the traditional organizations, are becoming the most efficient means to create and exchange value.”
  9. @timoreilly “Peer Production” and The On-Demand Economy
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  11. @timoreilly Workers in all industries are increasingly managed by algorithms. The question is what kind of algorithm we want to be ruled by.
  12. @timoreilly Practical Labor Implications • “Dependent contractor” status • End of full time/part time distinction • Pro-rated portable benefits • Open scheduling standards • Minimum wage standards
  13. @timoreilly “Uber is a $3.5 billion lesson in building for how the world *should* work instead of optimizing for how the world *does* work” - Aaron Levie of
  14. @timoreilly Rethinking Workflow and User Experience
  15. @timoreilly
  16. @timoreilly Augmented Worker?
  17. @timoreilly “The great question of the 21st century is going to be ‘Whose black box do you trust?’” John Mattison, Chief Medical Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente
  18. Our SkyNet Moment?
  19. #CASBSSUMMIT @timoreilly Work, not Jobs #CASBSSUMMIT
  20. Some of the grand challenges we face • Rebuilding the infrastructure by which we deliver water, power, and goods. • Dealing with the “demographic inversion” — the lengthening lifespans of the old and the smaller number of young workers to pay into the social systems that support them. • Income inequality. “The people will rise up before the robots do.” • Climate change. • Displaced people. How could we use technology to create the infrastructure for whole new cities, factories, and farms, where they could be settlers, not refugees?
  21. Text @timoreilly “Technology is the solution to human problems. We won’t run out of work till we run out of problems.” Nick Hanauer