• Custom Rubber Backs MIT Research Task Force

    Custom Rubber President, Charlie Braun, was proud to serve as a member of the advisory board for MIT’s Work of the Future (WotF) taskforce, a research project recently completed and designed to understand the relationships between emerging technologies and work.

    As the project comes to a close and findings are presented, the taskforce found several important insights that will help business decision makers construct a path forward into future growth in a shifting business landscape.

    What is the Work of the Future?

    The MIT Task Force on WotF was convened in spring 2018 by MIT President Rafael Reif. Involved persons include 20+ MIT faculty members, 12 graduate-level MIT students and key stakeholders in relevant industries impacted by this research, including Custom Rubber’s President, Charlie Braun. 

    The WotF task force, or Congress, as it has been called, was created with the aim of understanding how new technologies would impact the current workday and how we can better increase shared prosperity using these technologies rather than fearing them. As we move into the future, many working people are wary of AI replacing jobs, quashing the working class and leading to mass unemployment. 

    The WotF Congress firmly believes that AI should be embraced, not feared, as we move into the future. By using evidence of how AI is impacting us today along with expertise on industry trends from MIT faculty and students and industry experts, the WotF project helped provide a path for growth in the form of a final report identifying AI trends and recommendations for business leaders.

    Critical findings and recommendations

    After over one year of research and development the WotF Congress put together a report on its findings, analyzing both the present and future. Here are just a few of the recommendations highlighted in the report:

    Robots & AI in the workplace

    Firms today are struggling to find and retain workers, which has been one of the main reasons investment in automation has increased. Robots can displace workers (a common fear), but they can also collaborate with them. As firms struggle to keep talent in the door, robots can complement and augment work at a low cost, making up for the labor shortage.

    Investing in the future

    Displacement via AI occurs most often with workers who have not received formal technical training. To combat this, places that teach technical skills will become invaluable. Community college enrollment should increase, as should placement in apprenticeship programs. Online learning should and will also adapt to accommodate technical training without in-person instruction. Better training can assuage and mediate fear of AI “taking” jobs.

    Rebalancing labor

    In the current U.S. model of manufacturing, workers are not seen as stakeholders. This model is out of date. Workers should be considered relevant stakeholders and firms should invest in their training and well-being, contradicting the model of the last four decades.

    Reinvigorating U.S. leadership in technology and innovation

    By embracing AI, the U.S. has the opportunity to lead the globe in taking advantage of AI opportunities and acting as an example for success. Investing in innovation is key to shared prosperity in the future. 

    These findings and recommendations, along with many others, can be found in the final Work of the Future Report. The WotF Congress and MIT AI department also recently sponsored a joint series of panels and a virtual summit to discuss and present the task force’s results.

    Custom Rubber is pleased and honored to have been a part of such critical research and discovery.

    MIT’s final report on Work of the Future can be read in full here.
    Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2020 by: Global Administrator
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