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The Future of Work – Are Robots the key to reducing unemployment?

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London,
United Kingdom, October 19, 2019 – With the rise of robots, machine learning
(ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), the employees of today are in panic mode
about the state of their future career prospects. Will they have a job in 20
years’ time… 10 years’ time… or even next year?

New
technology continues to burst out daily to change the way we work, and on the
surface, this automation of processes previously done by human hands would seem
to present companies with the opportunity to downsize. The spectre of an
apocalyptic, dwindling future workforce is naturally terrifying for most
people, especially in Africa, which is traditionally manpower-centric.  But, the reality is that these
super-intelligent machines and robots might well be doing humankind a massive
favour.

“Machine
learning will enable technology to replace the work of hands and the workplace
of the future will probably include much more head-work, so it doesn’t
necessarily mean that machines will reduce the number of jobs available,  they will change the way we work and the definition
of what ‘work’ is,” says Deseré Orrill, Chairman, OLE!CONNECT, a company that
is a pioneer in the field of personalised, data-led marketing.

Orrill
is a successful global entrepreneur who is currently completing her MBA in
Design Thinking, and it’s fitting that she will deliver the welcome address and
Chair, the Future of Work session at AfricaCom 2019 at the CTICC on Wednesday
13 November 2019.

Orrill
will also moderate the discussion on Creating a Culture of Lifelong Learning, a
topic, which big hitters Simon Rey (Ecobank), Yumna Tayob (FNB Bank) and
Hendrik Malan (Frost & Sullivan) will all weigh in on. It’s an issue that
is crucial to Africa’s harnessing of its human potential, and the panel will
share their insights into how education and reskilling are key to Africa making
the most of its human capital, as well as the importance of ensuring effective
lifelong learning in the modern economy.

Future
of Work @ AfricaCom 2019 will seek to unpack a wide range of issues at the top
of the agenda for business owners and industry leaders. In the African context
this includes coming to grips with digital literacy for the modern workforce,
building a solid talent pipeline and succession planning through reskilling, as
well as strategic workforce planning to harness AI in order to improve
organisations, as well as their employees.
However,
it’s not just employees who face challenges in the new workplace frontier, as
employers have to get a handle on issues such as, understanding what the future
of work means for employees AND themselves, how to achieve executive support
for new workplace initiatives, and how technology can play a game-defining role
in human resources.

The
battle between old school and new school has plenty of spark points in the
modern work environment. Business leaders will benefit from the discussion
about harnessing workplace technologies, as well as using design thinking to
create an integrated digital workplace. Discussions and presentations will
include Leveraging New Ways of Working to Create Sustained Results in Africa,
as well as a discussion on Closing the Skills Gap: Preparing for an Uncertain
Future, moderated by Mooketsi Bennedict Tekere, CEO, Ngwana Enterprises with
Devaan Parbhoo, Manager, Learning Design & Learning Development at Santam.

Humans
in the workplace complete tasks with hands and heads but, also with heart.  Orrill highlights the fact that AI and ML
cannot replicate human creativity, sensitivity and sensibility, which are
essential ingredients in all creative and caring professions, along with those
where human intuition and the fabled ‘6th sense’ play a role.

“These
functions and skills just can’t be replaced by machines, although machines and
AI can certainly offer incredible support to the humans involved in these
professions.  We also believe robots and
automation will contribute to the creation of positive, dynamic and fluid
workplaces of the future,” says Orrill. “In fact, in advanced economies where
greater use of robotics, automation and AI is prevalent, unemployment today is
at the lowest it has been in decades. So, the future of work is not a gloomy
wasteland… on the contrary, it’s a bright and promising place.”

To
share in this vision for a optimistic new working world, and to keep on trend
with workplace best practice, and cutting edge insights, take your place at
Future of Work @ AfricaCom 2019 at the CTICC on Wednesday 13 November 2019.

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