They say that robots are coming to take our jobs. At Autodesk, we are hoping to help create new industries to mitigate the negative effects of the changing work environment. Just as people moved to factories when agricultural tools (e.g., tractors) reduced the need for farm workers, what will people do in the future? So, what does the future of work hold for us? They say robots are coming for us. At Autodesk, we believe that robots are coming for us. Instead of supplanting us, robots and humans will work side by side. Robotics, Augment Reality/Virtual Reality, Generative Design, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning will help us achieve what we want to achieve — not hinder us. We make software that helps work get done because Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you're creating a high-performance car, a towering skyscraper, a smartphone, or a great film, your work can be aided by Autodesk applications and services. That's true now and will remain true in the future.
Our aim is to help people make more things, make them better, and make them with less. As we continue to develop and enhance our desktop applications and supplement them with cloud-based services around analysis, simulation, collaboration, and fabrication, we consider what the future of work means for our customers.
I am at Autodesk University in Las Vegas this week. One of my duties is to man our Future of Work exhibit. The exhibit is part of The Future of Making Things Experience and is located in the center of the AU Exhibit Hall:
There are activities that help AU attendees reflect on what they see as the future of work for them and share their thoughts with Autodesk. Our plan is to analyze this feedback and share it with my boss, Jon Pittman, who is the VP of Corporate Strategy at Autodesk. The feedback we gather at AU will help Autodesk and its customers address the future of work together.
Ideally, exhibit visitors complete the short activities in order, but this is not required. The 3 activities include:
I want to do less of... so I can do more of...
- The future of work is changing.
- As it does, what do you want to spend less time on so you can spend more time on something else.
- Please share your thoughts with us.
- Select a brick, write what you want to spend less time on, and add it to the stack on the table by snapping it in place.
- Select a brick, write what you want to spend more time on, and add it to the stack on the table by snapping it in place.
What am I most excited to do in the future?
- Autodesk wants to bring you technology that helps you make more things, better things, with less.
- There are many technologies that can be brought to bear.
- What technologies do you think will be most impactful to your work in the future?
- Augment Reality/Virtual Reality
- Generative Design
- Internet of Things
- Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
- You can make your opinion known using a cup of 10 blue mini-balls.
- You select technologies (one or two) and deposit a number of balls that reflects your enthusiasm for that technology. You can put all 10 balls in one cylinder, split them 5 and 5, or 9 and 1, etc.].
- We can all watch the cylinders fill up to get a sense of which technologies Autodesk customers consider most impactful to the future of work.
What do I need to learn?
- Autodesk believes that the future of work involves changes from the way we do things now.
- To take advantage of these new ways requires learning new things.
- We'd like to know what you think.
- Automation will displace some jobs but create new opportunities in other areas.
- Autodesk wants to help is customers cross "the valley of dread" — that short period of team being displaced and taking advantage of new opportunities?
- What do you believe that you need to learn to be prepared for work in the future?
- Please write your thoughts on a post-it note and add it to our ever-growing wall.
At Autodesk, we see machines doing what they do best and humans doing what they do best. Together, it's a winning combination. If you are attending AU this week, I look forward to seeing you at the Future of Work Exhibit.
A Las Vegas-based work-study program is alive in the lab.