James Kenealey technology
Elon Musk is certainly no stranger to novelty names. After all, this is a man who called his seventh and most recent child X Æ A-12 Musk, a name which sounds more like the directory listing of a distant star system than the human offspring of a person jostling for the position of wealthiest and most influential alive.
The wry humour of the name of his tunnelling company, The Boring Company, appears to have spread into the job titles Musk and his colleagues have adopted elsewhere. Always one to be a little on the eccentric side, it has been announced that his role of Chief Executive at Tesla has evolved into something a little more futuristic: Technoking of Tesla. He’s not the only one in the organisation eschewing the mundanity of ordinary business job titles – his Chief Finance Officer will now be known as the Master of Coin. Straight out of the fantasy world of Westeros from a man helping to build the fantasy world of our future, with more than a little nod towards the company’s billion-pound investment in Bitcoin.
Technological advancements like those peddled by Musk through his myriad companies bring with them a potentially huge shift in the jobs landscape. As we hurtle towards greater automation, the rise of artificial intelligence and even space tourism, the name of jobs in technology in the future are set to be very different from those we see now. Here are some of the ones we like:
Ethical Technology Advisor
Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film masterpiece Blade Runner, based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, juggles with the philosophical conundrum of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. Set in the far-flung dystopian future of… um, November 2019, the film highlights the potential ethical quandaries we may face with the development of highly anthropomorphic robot technology. If they are sufficiently human-like and capable of “seeing things you people wouldn’t believe,” does this mean they should be subject to the same ethical guidelines that biological lifeforms are when it comes to things like human rights? Is it ethical to perform experiments with robot technology that thinks, looks and feels like a real person?
All these concerns and more could be within the remit of the Ethical Technology Advisors of the future. Still something of a grey area at the moment, it’s easy to envisage a world within the next 20 years where eerily life-like robots begin walking, talking and communicating. It’s over to the ETA’s to sort out that little ethical dilemma.
Robot Liaison Officer
Continuing the same theme, as the ‘more human than human’ robots infiltrate the workplace at an increasing rate, someone with the job of facilitating a symbiotic working relationship between them and their human counterparts could be required. Quite what this would look like is pretty open to interpretation, so watch this space. But it’s a cool-sounding job title, and we think those well-versed in coding would be suitable candidates for this one.
We like this one.
As virtual reality technology follows the broad technological trend of rapid, breathless advancement, so too does its applications. VR technology already has a considerable foothold in the world of gaming and commercially available drones are already being released with VR headset implementation for that real-world escapism.
But what about escaping to… the past? It’s predicted that one day the gaming implementation of VR technology will expand to other areas of our lives, and the Nostalgist will provide virtual reality scenes and sounds from a bygone era into your virtual field of view. Perfect for the elderly to escape to.
The Black Mirror episode ‘San Junipero’ covers the potentials of this concept nicely – check it out on Netflix.
The role of Data Detective would surely be worth it for the title alone. With the Internet of Things almost already here, the data detective’s role would be to bring together all the data end points to generate meaningful answers and recommendations – from sensors, to biometric monitors, to next-gen fog, mesh, edge and neural capabilities.
For those who love solving mysteries and pulling together evidence to prove theories, this one would be a sure thing on the dream jobs in technology list. It’s not guaranteed that you would be working to solve actual crimes, but you would still have the word ‘detective’ in your job title, and surely that’s something to hang your deerstalker on?
Nope, not that kind.
Scrum Master is one of those futuristic job titles that is actually already with us. Scrum Masters are essentially a special kind of project managers, but with a difference. ‘Scrum’ is a framework that helps teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions. Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where:
A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.
The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a Sprint (a fixed length of working time)
The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next Sprint.
The Scrum framework is purposefully incomplete, only defining the parts required to implement Scrum theory. Scrum is built upon by the collective intelligence of the people using it (much like the rugby-based equivalent). Rather than provide people with detailed instructions, the rules of Scrum guide their relationships and interactions. This is where the Scrum Master role differs from your average Project Manager. The name was initially intended to indicate someone who is an expert at Scrum and can therefore coach others. The role does not generally have any actual authority. People filling this role have to lead from a position of influence, often taking what is known as a servant-leadership stance.
And you definitely don’t have to get muddy.