The Future Of The Professions Book Summary By Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

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The Future of the Professions is a book that puts technology and the internet at the forefront and examines how these two powerful entities are changing our world for good and for bad.

It explores how modern technology has altered our perspective on the work of professionals, or "experts" as they’re sometimes referred to.

This book paints an interesting picture of what our future might look like when it comes to the professions and how experts will be viewed in this ever-changing digital age.

It's full of insight into the quickly evolving role of experts, allowing readers to have a better understanding of professions heading into the future.

The Future Of The Professions Book

Book Name: The Future of the Professions (How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts)

Author(s): Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

Rating: 3.7/5

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

Categories: Technology & the Future

Author Bio

Richard Susskind is an esteemed name in the field of information technology and the law.

He holds a chair on the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute, and serves as President for the Society for Computers and Law.

An international speaker, he has earned immense recognition for his expertise on this topic, including serving as author for the highly praised book The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services.

His latest book The Future of the Professions delves further into this field and provides us with a look at how it may be reshaped by new technologies in the future.

How Automation Is Transforming Professional Work And Why It Matters

Professional Work

Technology is rapidly changing the way that professional experts do their jobs.

As our society grows more reliant on the internet, traditional professions such as lawyers, auditors, and bookkeepers are being impacted.

But instead of worrying about a future where professionals are obsolete, we should be examining how these advances will change the roles held by these specialists.

Drawing on years of research, the insights presented in The Future of the Professions help to show why this change is necessary and what it means for a new era of work.

For example, technology can now do things like beat two Jeopardy superstars in an episode or analyze data faster than any human can.

This means that if professionals want to keep up, they must accept these changes and adapt to fit their new roles in an automated world that promises more jobs – not less!

By examining how technology is impacting their specializations, today’s professional experts can stay ahead of the curve and prepare themselves for a different kind of workplace tomorrow.

The Need For Professional Guidance In Challenging Areas Of Life

In exchange for the expertise they provide, professionals are granted autonomy over a particular field.

This is why we entrust them with decisions such as those relating to our children’s education, the running of our businesses, and healthcare.

We can rely on professionals’ knowledge, experience, and character to make the best decisions for our wellbeing.

Professionals must also keep up to date with developments in their field, maintain a high standard of quality within their practice, and have an understanding of how to tailor knowledge to individual customers.

They may even be in charge of training future generations of professionals through schools, universities and institutes.

For certain fields such as health there is full legal control vested on credentialed professionals who are required to take classes or attend certified schools in order to become licensed and pass a state examination.

The purpose for this is ultimately to protect the public from any harm that could come from inexperienced or incorrect administration of dangerous substances.

Therefore it stands that if we want regulations that offer total protection, then we should grant autonomy to licensed experts within a given field in exchange for their professionally trained expertise.

Can Professionals Overcome Their Tendency To Create Exclusivity And Re-Engage With The Public?

Gone are the days when exclusive expert knowledge was reserved for professionals in certain fields.

With the advent of the internet, anyone can access and share high-level information relating to anything from medicine to taxes that a professional would have been privy to before.

Online communities, video tutorials, and even online universities give easy access to learning materials that used to be reserved only for those with actual degrees or certifications.

Unfortunately, many professionals do not appreciate or acknowledge this newfound ability to self-teach one’s way through topics they specialize in.

While it is understandable that experts want to keep their fields exclusive by avoiding providing all the ways and means of obtaining information, this often leaves clients feeling as though they’ve been duped as their need for professionals has been decreased.

In other words, professionals find themselves trying hard to discourage self help or self discovery when it comes knowledge even relevant topics and often use complicated language in an attempt to justify high fees – neither of which lends itself well towards establishing trust between them and their clients.

Clearly then, if professions want people to trust them again, they must work on reform themselves and become open-minded about the various ways people can attain knowledge today.

Technology Is Transforming Professional Services: Making Them More Efficient, Accessible And Automated

Professional Services

The future is here and it looks bright!

We are entering an age where technology is making professional work more efficient.

Advanced technology is driving automation which can take care of manual, administrative tasks so that a professional can focus on the more vital, complex or rewarding things.

Teleprofessionalism has already proven to be one of the most ground-breaking advancements in recent times.

Through video consultations with medical professionals, doctors can now provide advice when they or their patient may not be able to meet in person.

In 2014, there was even an instance of telesurgery successfully being performed from 4,700 miles away!

It’s not just telemedicine either; Automation will also become increasingly important for other types of professional work too – such as creating protocols, standardized documents or online services leading to enhanced productivity and faster turnaround for delivery.

Lastly, increased access to expert knowledge is becoming available thanks to the internet meaning that certain professions may become obsolete over time – we’ve already seen this with tax preparation (48 million US citizens using online software instead of seeking help from a professional).

And let’s not forget the Khan Academy who’ve been doing educational videos online free since 2014 took off with 10 million visitors per month!

Advanced technology will definitely push automatization and innovation within professions into the future.

How Technology Is Transforming Tax Accounting To Improve Efficiency And Optimize Returns

Filing taxes is a task that no one enjoys, and it’s only made harder by the continual change of laws and regulations.

It’s estimated that 6.1 billion hours are spent doing taxes in the United States alone – equivalent to having three million people all working full-time on it!

But technology has revolutionized the way we file our taxes, taking much of the complexity away for individuals as well as businesses.

For example, small companies in the UK now use online software to constantly keep track of their transactions and update tax documents as necessary throughout the year, so they are ready to go when filing time comes around.

Tax advisors like Deloitte have also created digitized systems combining knowledge from specialists so that it can be accessed quickly by companies around the world.

Technology can also predict taxes due and suggest changes to minimize them, as well as advise on cash flow management, mergers & acquisitions and locating corporate headquarters – even helping expats decide where to travel in order to save on taxes with a dedicated mobile app!

This technological revolution hasn’t been well-received by professionals in this field though – since it means their services may become less needed over time.

As technology advances and computational power grows, our machines are becoming increasingly complex.

This means that they are able to take on more and more areas of professional work.

Take Google Flu Trends as an example – this project was able to analyze past flu outbreaks and use data to predict the spread of the flu in certain areas of the world – something that previously would have been impossible.

Computers with super-strength computing capabilities can even go one step further, performing tasks that previously only humans could do.

IBM’s Watson computer is a perfect example: it not only managed to beat two Jeopardy champions, but it is now also being used for medical projects such as diagnosing cancers and developing treatment plans by comparing over 10 million patient health records.

It’s no surprise then that increasingly sophisticated machines are taking over more and more professional roles in society – from tracking disease patterns and providing insights into customers’ buying behaviour, to analysing large datasets for businesses or researching papers much faster than any human can.

Not only does this allow for greater efficiency in various professional fields, but it also frees up professionals to focus on other areas of their work – offering an exciting glimpse into the potential future work landscape.

The Spread Of Information Is Accelerated By Non-Rival And Non-Excludable Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge is a powerful tool and it continues to become more valuable as it reaches more people.

You don’t lose out when you share your knowledge because its value doesn’t decrease; in fact, it increases instead.

Take for example a school teacher – the more they practice sharing their knowledge, the better they become at conveying information and making sure it sticks with their students.

With enough experience, even teachers could distill the insight they have acquired into books that are then passed along to many more people.

Not only is sharing knowledge more valuable, it’s also impossible to prevent someone from using what they’ve gained.

When a doctor gives advice to a patient on how to manage an illness, it goes beyond just one person; that information can then be spread on to others too.

This is why knowledge spreads naturally and enhances itself as it reaches more and more people.

Nowadays with internet access becoming so widely available, information from any field of expertise can now be digitized and stored digitally – something that would have been impossible just two decades ago.

Weaving in social media platforms further amplifies this effect by allowing professionals in turn get their work into the world much easier than before.

The Risks And Rewards Of Making Expert Knowledge Readily Accessible

Standardization in work processes is becoming increasingly more important as technology progresses.

With the help of digitized processes and systems, more and more tasks can be performed by non-specialists which helps to cut costs.

Computer-aided design (CAD) software allows hobby architects to design comprehensive projects with ease, while standardizing works prevents errors and encourages the reuse of templates or information, making the process that much more efficient each time.

Moreover, as digitally available expert knowledge rises, standardization also ensures professionals stay on top of their work.

Through standardized routines they are able to focus on unique task rather than pour over large bundles of information, all the while utilizing informational tools becoming increasingly versatile due to online sharing.

The development of technologies has greatly impacted the way we live our lives and standardization in work is no exception – it reduces costs and makes expertise more readily available and reliable for everyone, giving us access to beneficial information that could otherwise have been locked away from us.

Standardization also raises a number of questions regarding ownership rights and responsibility; however these issues are worth considering before ushering in such an efficient social system.

The Future Holds Opportunity For Professionals To Make Knowledge More Accessible Through Technology


The traditional roles of the professions, as gatekeepers to specialised knowledge, are changing due to advancing technology.

While some professions still maintain a certain level of exclusivity, others are open to more people accessing their expert knowledge and resources.

Many people worry that technology will “dehumanize” our world and negatively affect personal interactions.

However, this doesn’t have to be true – just look at the social media platform Twitter, which has actually strengthened the communication between journalists and readers across the globe.

Professionals who cling on to their status of being an exclusive gatekeeper does not benefit society in any way.

Instead it limits access to vital information and resources – something which technology can actually improve and provide on a much grander scale.

Fear that technology will lead to a decrease in the number of professional jobs is unfounded.

In fact, quite the opposite is happening – while certain tasks may be automated, they also create new forms of employment such as process analysts who are important in allocating work between humans and machines.

It’s clear that with advancing technology comes change in our traditional professions; this will give rise to new job opportunities as boundaries between different areas break down.

Professionals need to be flexible in order to stay relevant in our increasingly tech-driven world if they want their practise or skillset to remain desirable and up-to-date.

Tech can actually help make knowledge more accessible by connecting people across different fields – so embracing advances could only aid professionals instead of hindering them!

Wrap Up

The Future of the Professions is a must read for anyone interested in the future of professional roles.

It emphasizes that technology has made expert knowledge more widely accessible, but it does not mean professionals are no longer needed.

In fact, professional expertise will always be valuable, as the vast range of knowledge makes it impossible for just one individual to acquire all the necessary skills.

Technology can help people get ahead and it is something which everyone should embrace in order to succeed in today’s society.

The book provides readers with an eye-opening overview on how technology is transforming professions and what they need to do to adapt in order to move with the times.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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