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In her candid, eloquent oration, Tammy Erickson, an adjunct professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, warns that the knowledge worker may become an endangered species in the 21st century. She paints a bleak picture of the future of knowledge work, a future where large cohorts of workers will become obsolete. Though Erickson’s talk ends on a positive note, her optimism fails to offset the gloom she forecasts. getAbstract believes knowledge workers across all sectors ought to consider and prepare for the grim future Erickson predicts.


As the technology juggernaut continues to transform society, it will “virtually eliminate” knowledge work. Only craftspeople such as artists and musicians are impervious to the threat of technological unemployment. Machines will perform many of the tasks that people currently execute more cheaply, quickly and precisely than humans can. To understand how technology will impinge on knowledge work, consider its six components:

  1. “To share or disseminate expertise” – All knowledge workers teach and share information. Machines increasingly boast this ability.

About the Speaker

Executive adviser Tammy Erickson is an adjunct professor of organizational behavior at London Business School.

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