Top 3 Trends Pushing the Gig Economy into the Future: Robots, Big Data and AI
Three major trends that keep business owners, CEOs and executive teams up at night.
The workplace is evolving and it’s doing so at a faster and faster pace each year. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the employment market. In fact, this sector is evolving at such a rate that it’s doubtful that even the experts living on the cutting edge of technology could have anticipated the growth of the Gig Economy over the last 5 years.
Companies like Rabbit, Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Rover, Postmates, DoorDash that brought innovation into the world of the gig economy are now facing new challenges that will push the work market into the future.
The 3 big trends: Robots, Big Data and an AI future.
1. Robots and the gig economy
According to an increasing number of experts such as Jon Lieber, chief economist at Thumbtack, a San Francisco based online service that matches customers with local professionals, “The gig economy as we know it will not last.”
From tech giants like Amazon to logistic platforms like Uber and Lift, everyone is trying to add robots to their services, replacing drivers and delivery workers with autonomous vehicles and drones.
Uber was one of the companies that shared its vision from the start and has been upfront with the idea of replacing drivers with autonomous vehicles in the near future. They made one of the first large commercial purchases of cars intended for an automated fleet, committing to buying 24,000 Volvo XC90 SUVs to be delivered between 2019 and 2021.
However, tunnel vision has redirected our attention from the larger picture. By focusing only on small gig jobs we didn't see that automatization brought highly skilled workers, such as lawyers and accountants into the Gig Economy as freelance consultants.
According to Forrester analyst, J.P. Gownder, “16 percent of jobs will disappear due to automation technologies between now and 2025”, having the effect of moving the workforce from repetitive tasks to jobs that require a higher level of creativity or emotional intelligence and putting a focus on social intelligence as well.
Automation or robots are usually considered as the bad guy for the future of work, where all the robots take our jobs. For the gig economy, this prediction could not be further from the truth.
The Future of Work report from analyst house Forrester states: “Automation will accelerate the need for and size of the gig economy as it displaces jobs and sources the talent able to deliver on certain competencies and tasks. Automation will also enable the gig economy to exist by connecting buyers and sellers.”
Automation and robots will be the catalyst that propels the Gig Economy into the future.
2. Big data and the gig economy
Currently, data tends to be infinite and any organization that wants to grow at a meaningful pace would be wise to learn how to leverage the massive amount of data available to drive growth. Companies are using vast amounts of information from associated companies to enhance their own data or to provide solutions.
Tomorrow’s top companies will be those that understand how to capture, connect, and leverage information into actionable insight. Technology has become the top enabler of the gig economy. Just by having a smartphone connected to the internet, anyone can secure a quick job or establish a company. Big data brings the promise of transforming and improving the gig economy even further, resulting in better experiences both for freelancers and their clients.
By 2020, 43% of the US workforce is expected to go freelance and work remotely according to Nasdaq, and the good news is that Big Data has a strong potential to solve the problem of miss-matching candidates. Algorithms designed to crawl the infinite data stream can assist with the talent search by gauging the client's demands and pairing them with the optimal match for the job at hand.
Data from social media profiles, educational institutions, etc. helps future gig workers in the selection process, but companies need to find a way to harness that data in a legal and moral way.
It’s clear that the employment market transformations are well underway, and their pace of development cannot be slowed or stopped.
Big data will improve the matchmaking process on freelance marketplaces
3. AI and the gig economy
Recent technological progress in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has pushed the frontier of what machines can do. Our society needs these improvements to provide value for businesses, contribute to economic growth, and make progress on some of our most difficult social challenges. AI will transform the nature of work and the workplace itself.
All occupations will be influenced by AI automation, but only about 5 percent of jobs could be fully automated by our current level of technology.
According to a Mckinsey report, “many occupations have portions of their constituent activities that are automatable: about 30 percent of the activities in 60 percent of all occupations could be automated.”
This suggests that most workers from mechanics to lawyers and CEOs from small and large companies will work alongside rapidly evolving machines powered by AI. The outcome will be that these occupations will likely change and adapt.
AI-driven recruiting proves that this method can be less discriminatory when it comes to race, age or gender. The new-generation AI has become rather well-versed in predicting personality attributes of candidates based on the data available to them. All of these features combined can make the Gig Economy process fairer, streamlined and effective for all parties involved.
Even now, AI is changing the way the gig economy operates. In fact, 49% of freelancers in an Edelman survey state that AI has already impacted the way they work. In the future, we should see further improvements in the hiring process, the payment experience, and business operations improved by innovative technologies.
Changes made by Robots, Big Data, and AI inspires creativity and innovation in the world of The Gig Economy
Rapid change brings with it creativity and innovation, and the current technology revolution is no different. The movement in the workforce from repetitive tasks to jobs that require a higher level of creativity or emotional intelligence with the help of AI and automation should be embraced by the entire Gig Economy community.
Our ability to connect emotionally to others is something that cannot be codified. This remains the human skill that to date cannot be replicated and we should learn to use technology that frees our time from meaningless tasks and aspire to a more challenging and rewarding jobs, which is also a reason for the renewed interest and urgency in developing soft skills, particularly for tomorrow’s leaders!
So for the Gig Economy the future sounds great !! Business owners and CEOs will have tailored profiles from which to choose their perfect candidates. Meanwhile, for freelance consultants, AI will help fast-track time-consuming tasks and unleash more time for their creative spirit.
Robots, Big Data, and AI technologies will bring both sides closer for accomplishing future goals.
Author: Andrei Bar content writer at Qemploy.com
QEMPLOY is a portal that promotes consultants by ensuring professional exposure to the largest organizations and purchasers of freelance consultants in Denmark.