Imagine Michael is frustrated with his job. Day-in, day-out the same old tune. He sees himself retraining, learning something completely new. So he goes to the “Future of Work” Career Information Center, a kind of job center 4.0. Here he is not only advised in detail and courteous, but also asked for his interests and wishes, which should characterize his new job.

Michael wants to see more of the world than always the same desk as the last few years. He wants to be outdoor, combined with his passion for riddles and tricky tasks. Coupled with his quick comprehension and the other answers from the assessment, the computer finds a possible dream job for Michael: archeology.
Michael now has the opportunity to try his potential dream job in a simulation.

Michael’s archeology simulation is based on the enormous recordings of true archaeological work. For this purpose, excavation site were equipped with 3D scanners, and scientists equipped with stereo camera headset and microphone. The headset not only records, but also acts as an interface with a virtual assistant, providing archaeologists with analysis and translation options as they dig up the artifacts. Much faster than before, young colleagues or unskilled laborers working on the diggings can now grasp the historical context and the information and stories hidden in the finds.

All data is collected in cooperation with various universities, funded by state and private institutions. An artificial intelligence (AI, marked orange) takes over the evaluation and elaborate pattern recognition. With the help of data already collected (big data from related fields), the AI ​​puts all collected data in an overall context (in terms of history, geography, technique & technology, etc.). The edited data sets serve as the basis for creating a realistic VR simulation, as Michael is experiencing now at the “Future of Work” Career Information Center.

‍The simulation welcomes Michael and presents him with all aspects of his future everyday work. From the exciting find of a lost artifact to the elaborate research in extensive libraries or the documentation at the site and in the laboratory.

It is less about showing an ideal picture than about conveying the wide range of the chosen job profile. Statistics from the actual experience of the experts help Michael make his career choice on a realistic basis. All additional information, such as places of study, duration, opportunities in the professional market, etc., he receives as well as expert interviews at the touch of a button. Even long-term experiences – say 8-10 hours in VR simulation – should help Michael and others to better orient themselves on the job market, to discover new opportunities or to minimize wrong decisions.

At the beginning of the simulation, the program leads Michael to the find that he will work on. He learns the correct technique for exposing the finds and receives further information upon request. Thanks to the feedback-gloves he can interact with the simulated objects. And so it goes on, he finds relics of bygone days, documents and catalogs them. Because that too is part of the job.

Under the motto “One day in the life of …” not only the job centers of the future but also chambers of commerce & crafts could use the simulation, for example to make apprenticeships more appealing. Physicians could use the same technique to train surgical procedures without risk, or teachers could use the system to make learning more tangible. How much more exciting will history, math or chemistry be if it is not only written content between two book covers but a “real” experience ?!

Of course, our scribbled Michael is thrilled with his archeology experience. Nothing keeps him from quitting his old job and starting his studies. In the future, his work will help to collect, network and apply more data.

What do we take from this vision? We need to think seriously about the future of learning and the professional world. The armchair career is threatened with extinction and whether you find that good or questionable, the lifelong learning is more important than ever. And why shouldn’t we use every conceivable means of recognizing and exploiting our full potential?

This concept was first published in the PAGE theme special “KI und Design“.

Florian Hättich

Florian Hättich

Industrial & UX Design

Florian’s roots lie in Industrial, Automotive and Experience Design. Sketching - better: Story telling with pen and paper is his secret super power.

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