Taking Care of (Future) Business

The jobs of tomorrow will look very different from today's

Between traffic-clogged commutes, high-stress jobs, and crappy coffee in the break room, the daily grind can be painful.

Luckily, technology is paving the way for jobs you’ll actually be excited to do. Menial tasks like email can be automated. Decision-making can be done with artificial intelligence. And “deep learning” can teach robots to be creative and even generate ideas.

Granted, automation is something Popular Science has been excited (and worried) about for decades, so we turn to our ever-entertaining archives for some historical guidance.

Will the Unimate robot compete for your job?

The goal today is to integrate these technologies into the workplace in ways that make our jobs easier, safer, or more efficient (without making us humans obsolete). To find out how, we talk to Fumiya Iida, an engineer at the University of Cambridge who builds biologically inspired soft robots to work alongside people. Roboticist Hod Lipson of Columbia University talks up the promise of A.I doctors and lawyers. Judy Wajcman, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, tells us about how these shiny new technologies will soon become so integral to our lives that we’ll no longer notice they’re there.

In the coming decades, our jobs, our offices, and even our commutes will likely become unrecognizable. To give us a behind-the-scenes view, Popular Science’s own futuristic information editor Katie Peek takes us on a tour of her ten second commute (via telepresence robot) from Baltimore to New York. And futurist Glen Hiemstra paints a verbal picture of what your next office might look like. (Spoiler alert: It could be on Mars!)

What high-tech perks would you like to see in the office of the future? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook, or email us at futuropolis@popsci.com. And be sure to subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, or search for Futuropolis on your favorite podcast app.

Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. Tune in every other Wednesday for more sneak peeks at the future.