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COVID-19 Is Accelerating the Digital Blending of Working and Learning

June 20, 2020 / Sean Gallagher

In the last few months the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and triggered an economic plunge in the U.S. that is now officially a recession. Even before this crisis, concerns were rising about a potential loss of jobs and the rising demand for digital skills due to technologies such as automation and AI. Now that potential is even greater, since historically recessions tend to accelerate automation and the long-term loss of jobs in routine occupations. And because of social distancing, we find ourselves living in world that is even more digital–and the evidence of that shift is all around us. Knowledge work has moved online as professionals work remotely. E-commerce purchases of all types have surged. Restaurants have rapidly shifted to online and mobile ordering, and are speeding up the deployment of digital kiosks that replace human workers. Retailers such as The Gap are accelerating the adoption of robots in their warehouses.