THE FIRST CALLS for volunteers went out in early March. As local government units scrambled to respond to the spread of COVID-19 in their municipalities, nonprofit Developers Connect (DevCon) decided to mine its nearly 40,000 Facebook followers for tech developers willing to help it “hack the pandemic.”
WHEN Keller Rinaudo founded his drone-based delivery start-up Zipline, it was with the lofty dream of building “an instant, automated logistics system for the planet.” It was 2014 and, at the time, AI-powered robots were commonplace only in the warehouses of the world’s tech giants: Alibaba, Amazon, and the like. But Mr. Rinaudo felt that the technologies of the future were being wasted on delivering tennis shoes and pizza. Instead, he believed “the long-term impact of that technology is providing universal healthcare to every person on the planet.”
FROM AI to blockchain, conversations on adopting new technologies have been ongoing these past few years, with firms both private and public scrambling to future-proof their systems. But the reality is most firms are nowhere near ready for the future of work.