Initially, I signed up for this course because professor Kane came highly recommended. I needed another elective to fulfill my marketing concentration requirements and the topic of social media and digital tech piqued my interest. In a world that is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, I felt that this class would give me a good foundation for understanding new innovations in tech and digital business before entering the working world in the fall, especially since I accepted a position at a small tech consulting firm.
The first class definitely set the stage for what to expect from the rest of the semester. Fostering discussions between undergrads and graduate students is a key component that I believe makes the class unique compared to other electives available within CSOM. While undergrads might be more inclined to be social media savvy, the graduate students have a greater awareness of how the emerging technologies can be applied in a business setting. It’s one thing to learn how certain technologies work, but creating a connection to real-world usage is a characteristic I believe many other classes lack. For this reason, I think Professor Kane’s class will prove to be one of the most insightful and useful classes I have taken at Boston College.
There were two topics listed on the syllabus regarding the impact of technology on business that I believe are especially important to discuss and that I am personally excited to talk about, the first being the future of work in this hyper-technologically advanced world. As artificial intelligence and robotics become more ingrained in day to day business, many are concerned about the extent of their replacement of the human workforce. While machines have increased the accuracy and efficiancy throughout many industries, they have replaced a significant number of blue-collar jobs. Current and future members of the workforce are inclined to either learn to support the new industries these machines created or be at risk of being replaced. One of the main points I expect to discuss in class regarding this topic is the importance of learning to work together with AI and machines. There are certain aspects of human intelligence and emotion that robots do not yet possess. Morals, values, religious intent, and emotional intelligence are all still uniquely human attributes. It will be interesting to see how society learns to develop in order to utilize the best attributes of the robot and the human workers together. For example, doctors from around the world are using robots to perform surgeries and exams on patients in underdeveloped countries. These patients would not receive treatment without the combined efforts of the robotic system and the human controlling it. This combination of human and artificial intelligence will revolutionize the future workforce.
The second topic I am excited to discuss is the sharing economy, which has altered multiple aspects of our day to day lives. Companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Zipcar have completely changed industries in the span of just a few years. Taxi, hotel, music, and car rental services are increasingly becoming more competitive areas as these companies and their knockoffs reshape how industries function. While these businesses make our lives much easier in most cases, they have gained massive control over our ownership of certain goods. For example, many young adults use Zipcar or Uber as opposed to purchasing or leasing a car of their own. If anything were to happen to either of these services, many riders would not reach their destinations which in many cases might be their job. Spotify listeners store all of their music within the company’s database. If Spotify’s database was compromised, all saved music and playlists that consumers have built up over the years would be lost. We have in some ways become dependent on these shared services. As more of these services pop up, I think it will become important to discuss when this dependency reaches too far.
Whether it be through the in-class discussions or these blog posts, I look forward to learning about emerging technologies through the eyes of Professor Kane and the rest of my peers.