Dr. Daniel Susskind is a Research Professor in Economics at King’s College London and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford University. His work explores the impact of technology, particularly artificial intelligence, on work and society. Breaking the news that automation and AI are transforming both both blue- and white-collar jobs, he offers a pragmatic and optimistic outlook on how we can prepare for the transformation — including how to educate and train for the workplaces of the future — and shines a light on the extraordinary prosperity waiting on the other side of disruption.
He is the co-author of the bestselling book, The Future of the Professions, which calls for an update to the antiquated ways in which professionals such as doctors, teachers, and lawyers perform their work in our increasingly digital world where artificial intelligence becomes smarter every day. Originally published in 2015, the book was updated in 2022 to provide insight on the impact of recent technological advancements. His 2020 release, A World Without Work, was described by The New York Times as "required reading for any potential presidential candidate thinking about the economy of the future," and was named to many of the most prestigious Best Books of 2020 lists. His new book, Growth: A Reckoning, will be released in spring 2024. His TED Talk debunking three prevailing myths surrounding the future of work has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
Previously, he worked in various roles in the British Government: as a policy advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, a policy analyst in the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, and a senior policy adviser in the Cabinet Office. He was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University.
Work After the Pandemic
When the pandemic began, the hope was that it would be a short-lived crisis. Economies would need to be temporarily placed in suspended animation but once the virus had passed – in a matter of weeks, it was thought — we would swiftly return to economic life as usual. As we now know, this hope turned out to be misplaced. The consequences of the virus are going to be with us for some time. And this is particularly true for the world of work. Overnight, at the start of the pandemic, labour markets were transformed — telemedicine, virtual courts, online education, remote working, became the norm. It is clear now we are not going back to our pre-COVID-19 working lives. This talk explains why — and how we ought to respond.
The Future of Work in the Age of AI
Every day we hear of advances in AI, with new systems — from ChatGPT to DALL-E — taking on activities that, until recently, we thought only human beings alone could ever do: writing effective code and drafting compelling documents, designing beautiful buildings, and diagnosing medical illnesses. What does all this progress mean for the future of work? It is one of the greatest questions of our time. And in this optimistic and pragmatic talk, Daniel Susskind explores what lies ahead, drawing on his best-selling books, 'The Future of the Professions' and 'A World Without Work.'
The Future of Work
New technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. Yet Daniel Susskind explains why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk. So how can we all thrive in the future? Susskind reminds us that technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of mankind's oldest problems: making sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenge will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives. In this pragmatic and optimistic talk, Daniel Susskind shows us the way.
The Future of the Professions
This talk explores two futures for the professions. Both of these rest upon technology. Traditionally, many people have imagined that only blue-collar workers are challenged by automation; yet white collar-workers are now within reach as well. In the future, we will neither need nor want professionals — lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, architects, the clergy, consultants, and many others — to work as they did in the 20th century. In this pragmatic and optimistic talk, Daniel Susskind explains why, and sets out how leaders in the professions can prepare to flourish in the decades to come.
The Future of Healthcare
In this talk, Daniel Susskind explores two futures for healthcare, drawing on his best-selling books, The Future of the Professions (2015; 2022) and A World Without Work (2020). Both of these futures rest upon technology. The first future is a reassuringly familiar one – it is simply a more efficient version of what we have today. But the second future is very different – here, new technologies actively displace traditional healthcare professionals from their work. In the future, the profession will look remarkably different from today, and we will neither need nor want doctors and nurses – or lawyers, teachers, architects, accountants, engineers, consultants, and many other professionals – to work as they did in the 20th century. In this pragmatic and optimistic talk, Susskind explains why, and sets out how the healthcare profession can prepare to flourish in decades to come.
The Future of Education and Training
This talk explores the future of education and training. Every day, we hear stories of new technologies taking on tasks and activities that, until recently, we thought only human beings could ever do: making medical diagnoses and driving cars, drafting legal contracts and designing buildings, composing music and writing news reports. To prepare people for the future of work, we have to radically re-think our education system: transforming ‘what’ we teach, ‘how’ we teach, and ‘when’ we teach. The challenge is that, at the moment, our educational institutions are still preparing workers for the 20th century, rather than the 21st.
The Future of AI
Over the last few years, there has been a great deal of excitement about ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI). But at times, it is hard to distinguish between genuine advances, and the hype and exaggeration that often accompanies the technology. This talk explores the history and the future of AI, identifying the changes that really have taken place in the field, and explaining why they matter so much for thinking about the future of work. In decades to come, AI is going to continue to take activities that, in the past, we thought only human beings alone could ever do. Understanding why, and exploring the consequences, is a critically important task.
Myths about the Future of Work
Over the last few years there has been a frenzy of writing and discussion about technology and the future of work. But the ideas are so sprawling and contradictory it can often seem like we know even less than before all this analysis began. This talk is a response to this uncertainty and confusion: it explores the different myths that have emerged about the future of work, clears up the mistaken thinking that currently clouds our vision of what lies ahead, and explains how we can prepare for challenging but exciting decades to come.