Today we attended the UNSW “Modern Professional Practice and its Future” Conference hosted by Allens in Sydney which was an outstanding program. It was great to see many of our ACoP members there.
Professor Richard Susskind, via video-link from London, outlined the arguments of his co-authored book “The Future of the Professions”. He contends that there will be a steady decline in the need for human professionals over the next 20-30 years, that machines will become increasingly capable taking on new tasks and decision-making, and that para-professionals with empathetic listening skills will rise in importance.
Other panel commentators Graham Greenleaf, Lyria Bennett-Moses, and Deen Sanders did not paint such a bleak future for the professions, instead contending that Richard Susskind is overly optimistic about the role of machines (“Artificial Intelligence”) and that humans will always have a need for trusted advice/professional engagement.
The one-day conference showcased the ARC linkage research on professions, professional obligation and regulation in the 21st century by a team combining academics from leading Australian and overseas universities and professionals from the Professional Standards Councils.
The conference explored topics such as:
- Professional Indemnity Insurance: Compensating Consumers and Regulating Professionals?
- Structural Types of Professional Regulation – Comparative Examples from Australia and the UK
- Inventing the Future: Professions and Digitally Enabled Work.
Professions Australia (ACoP) is leading the discussion around the future of the professions – read about our November 2015 Forum on the Future of Professions and Professionalism.