Seminars & Colloquia

Ross Smith


"AI and the Future of Work"

Friday December 02, 2022 10:00 AM
Location: Zoom, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
Zoom Meeting Info
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the AI in Society


Abstract: As humans evolved from the earliest days of hunting and gathering, “technology” has evolved along with us. From fire to the wheel to maps to the aqueduct to the printing press all the way through the telegraph, the telephone, cars, planes, to the internet, mobile, and now to AI and robotics. Every generation has questioned whether this new technology will put humans out of work. One of the first aqueducts was built in 3500 BEC on the island of Crete. People who previously carried jugs of water on their heads now had to find new jobs. And they did. The monks who scribed Bibles before the printing press saw their work grow as the printing press grew literacy and books were available to everyone. The invention of the ATM triggered a growth in bank tellers as banks could open more branches. Now, we have AI and, just like every other generation before us, we ask “is this time different?” – is THIS the technology that changes the way humans work? The answer might be yes because, unlike previous technological shifts, AI impacts every industry. Every company is a tech company. Every single job will be impacted by AI.

It’s incumbent upon all of us to prepare. This presentation will suggest the role that various actors can and must play in the future of work. What is the responsibility of the individual who is being displaced by automation. What role does society play? What does the organization who is deploying AI to replace workers owe to the employee? What can the government provide?


Many of these questions are being discussed. Re-skilling programs, universal basic income, code schools, gig work, and what we’ve learned from the pandemic and remote work. The idea is to start to codify a framework - a playbook of best practices – to help make the future of work better for all of us.

Short Bio: Ross is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and blogger. Author of The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention and holds seven patents. He is a PhD scholar at University College Dublin’s SMART Lab program, focused on AI, automation, worker displacement, and the future of work. To futher this effort, he is a co-founder of the Future World Alliance, a nonprofit committed to responsible AI for the next generation.
He has worked at Microsoft for over 30 years. He is a board member at Spreeha. He is a co-founder of the Seattle Women in Tech Consortium and member of the leadership council for iUrbanTeen. He has been a member of the Leadership Council for the Anita Borg Institute, 3 year co-chair for Grace Hopper Organizational Transformation track. He is a member of ABI Local in Seattle, and part of the gender partner LT and ”male ally” panel discussions at the IEEE Women in Technology and National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Summit and TechCrunch. Work with Native Americans at Microsoft. He is a Sequoyah Fellow in the the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).
To help develop the next generation’s interest in STEAM, he works with the Skype in the Classroom program. He was invited to the White House for discussion on women in STEM.

His academic research papers are published on ResearchGate.

He is an avid reader and loves to travel.

Host: Munindar Singh, CSC

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