Professions and Their Relevance in the 21st Century
Dona Mathew       
THE FUTURE OF THE PROFESSIONS: HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL TRANSFORM THE WORK OF HUMAN EXPERTS by Richard Susskind Oxford University Press, 2021, 368 pp., ₹ 598.00
April 2023, volume 47, No 4

Richard and Daniel Susskind’s The Future of the Professions: How Technology will Transform the Work of Human Experts is an insightful analysis of the implications of emerging technologies on professionals and their work. The authors advocate for the ‘liberation of practical expertise’, the argument being that knowledge is concentrated in the hands of a few experts. The book explores the path of technology development and how automation and outsourcing of work will change the nature of traditional professions.

As a caveat, this book is written from an Anglo-American context, although there are many similarities that one can find in the organization of professional work. These similarities flow from colonial legacies that have shaped how professions like health, law and taxation are organized in countries like India. But for someone reading from the perspective of a developing economy, some of the assumptions around the pervasiveness of technology, and its consequent benefit in improving access and affordability to information must be read with the understanding that digital access and literacy is still a far cry for many.

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