People + Tech: Making Sense of Innovations
Hello from London, where we are opening George Takei’s musical Allegiance this week. After several days at the Consumer Electronics Show, it is time to put the thousands of exhibits, reports, briefings and conversations into context for readers of NOTES.
Let’s start with this graphic - a human hand interacts and intersects with a tech innovation. That is both the opportunity and challenge of synthesizing the high tech innovations hitting the market. The Human and The Tech have to work together for an improved outcome. The coolest tech may be playful and intriguing, but will it help a human really do something better, faster, cleaner or easier. The best technology will really only improve workplaces, work-processes and workforces if it is designed to easily connect with the complex entities called “Humans”.
Here are some of our takeaways from CES 2023:
Low Workplace Shifts Predicted: We saw very little technology that will fundamentally change or improve the work process. There were loads of innovations that would display media brighter, move robots cleverly, accelerate the electrification of cars and other shifts. But, we did not see new tech that would significantly alter the workplace in 2023.
Here are 3 technologies that COULD impact the workplace:
Immersive Media (Metaverse, VR & AR): Lots of hype, loads of examples of new goggles and platforms, but few examples of how immersive will fit into the larger workplace. It is growing in presence and many (including myself), are awaiting the non-goggle edition of Immersive to hit the workplace.
AI and Machine Learning: The advertising folks have added the phrases AI and Machine Learning to about 50% of the material that we saw. And, there is a greater design trend towards leveraging these “smart technologies” to make the tech more adaptive and even a good “learner” about the user. As an optimist, I think the next 24 months will be a key time-frame for AI to more radically impact our systems, technologies and work processes.
Generative AI: As mentioned in my last NOTES, Generative AI is coming at us rapidly and it could have significant impacts in creating content, context, illustrations and workflow support through the new systems. Microsoft, Google and OpenAI will have major announcements in the coming year. Here are a few of the Generative AI prototypes that we may see impacting our learning, development, employee support and Talent fields:
DALL-E for Image Generation
ChatGPT for Text Generation
GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformers)
Hybrid Workplaces Deserve New Technologies: I reviewed a few new tablets and laptops that could have an impact on our Hybrid workplaces. One example is a dual-screen laptop or tablet that allows an at-home or traveling employee easier access to a a combination of systems and support. Here is one from Lenova that caught my eye:
Imagine if one screen had an office system - while the other screen provided learning content, workflow support or video connection to team members for expertise and collaboration.
Health and Fitness Technology Was Everywhere: There were hundreds of e-health, fitness and wellness technology innovations. While these are not directly targeted at the workplace, the healthier workforce is a win for everyone. We will see how organizations leverage health tech for their employees. Will these technologies also be embraced for mental wellness?
Gaming and eSports Meets the Workplace: I have several colleagues working in the gaming and eSports field who have great hopes for their leverage into the workplace. In the next year, I want to track the ways in which learning and talent systems can leverage gaming and eSports for effective business outcomes.
“Green Practices Must Be Sustainable & Economically Smart: There is enormous efforts to make our organizations, workplaces and societies more “green”. These practices must evolve to also be sustainable over time and economically smart.
Ethics for Innovation’s Impact on Technology & Humans!
And, here are some of my overall impressions of the tech innovation field and marketplace:
Technology innovation is increasingly coming from groups outside the United States. Countries such as Korea, Isreal and even Ukraine had combined exhibits to support and extend tech innovation.
Women are increasingly leading these startups, ventures and innovative efforts!
User Experience Research is deeply missing from the tech innovation field. I want to see how real people in real life are reacting and exploiting new technology products and innovations.
In-House Innovations Needed! While we will usually rely on commercial or open-source organizations to create new hardware or software efforts, companies can be more engaged in sponsoring in-house “Hackathons” to map new tech to actual business challenges.
Brain Science Meets Technology Innovation! Let us leverage emerging research on brain science to help make the connection between Humans and Technology.
2023 will be an intriguing year to leverage the best of technology innovations that are being developed and to address how they can impact our work in the learning, development and talent fields. We will be working in our MASIE Learning Foundation and MASIE Learning Collaborative to explore the opportunities ahead.
Yours in learning,
MASIE Learning Foundation
MASIE Learning Collaborative