Ronald Ashri


A day at work in 2033

January 30th 2018

Data, automation and new interface paradigms (chat, voice, AR and VR) will transform work. This post is a small thought experiment on how the new work environment may look. It is the positive view. It might not go this way.

It’s 9:15am, Monday morning. Alex logs into his company’s online collaboration space, AugmentOS. Most of the European team is already there. The presence map gives him an overview on login. He waves it away. He doesn’t really worry about who is online at any given moment although it’s nice to get a quick overview. Mostly he gets a kick from the beautiful map with all the markers lighting up.

He chuckles as he recalls the days of Slack or Skype and their green dots. Like the early versions of Windows 95 that interface seems from another era. Slack was, however, the harbinger of AugmentOS. To imagine that just 15 years ago, in 2018, only a few tens of thousands of organisations used collaborative conversational environments. How did he get anything done back then?

His attention is pulled in by a message that zooms in from the back of the virtual space on his work VR set. He prefers the concentration afforded by VR to the mixed reality the AR set supports. The message, must be important if his PA let it through — he’s been working with that AI for a year now and it knows he values an interruption-free start more than anything.
It’s his boss, Sofia. She lives on the west coast of the USA, so the message is a few hours old. Last night they received an unusually high number of support requests. The automated support system had to route more than 30% of all questions to human operators and the European team will have to help with the load.

Alex pulls up their data analysis tools and has it run a few test on all the messages. Looks like most people are frustrated and lots of different phrases all describing the same problem keep popping up. The NLP is confused but to Alex it’s obvious. It’s all about the new feature they released last week. Alex has been training the company’s NLP for some time now. He knows its limitations. The words people use to describe the feature and problem vary too widely. The NLP system hasn’t been able to catchup on its own. But now they have more data. They can train it to better handle the way actual customers describe this new feature.

The VR space goes dim and a message pops up. Alex has been so focused on analysing data that over 2 hours have gone by. Time for a break and catching up with the outside world.

After his break, Alex has a virtual meeting with the rest of the NLP team. AugmentOS has been tracking the work Alex did on this problem as well as that of a couple of other people and can provide an accurate synopsis for everyone. They discuss how they can improve feature releases to avoid similar issues and what needs to be done to train the system for the current problem. Work assignments and meeting records are automatically generated and the work will be routed to the next available experts. AugmentOS has an excellent understanding of the skills required and access to a worldwide pool of talent. This means lots of people can pickup where Alex and his team left off.

It’s already 12:45 pm. Alex is done for the day. He goes to pick up his kids and spend the rest of the day with the family. They need to prepare for the little roadtrip for tomorrow. He will be back at work on Wednesday and then again Friday. He has no idea how he used to work five straight 8 hour days when he started out. The early 2000s were just crazy.

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