When most people think of globalisation, they automatically think of manufacturing jobs. But Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat is not about manufacturing but about knowledge work, the kind of work web professionals do. I came across a good analogy in Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind. The story of John Henry is symbolic of the Industrial Age and how machines could perform manually labor better than humans.
I have a vivid memory of Garry Kazparov playing chess against an IBM supercomputer known as Deep Blue 10 years ago. The world of chess was stunned when Deep Blue defeated Kasparov. Last century machines proved they could replace human manual labor. This century new technologies are proving they can replace the human brain.
Many of my colleagues in higher education feel that the globalisation will not impact them or other knowledge workers. The more I read, the more I disagree. We will be impacted, and sooner than you think.