In the future will work be discernible from leisure?

18.07.2017 Technology : Workplace : Recruitment
Play Station by Lawrence Lek for Art Night, London

London – The artist Lawrence Lek has explored the future workplace as a gamified environment.

The installation, Play Station, imagines a technology start-up 20 years from now. Commissioned for Art Night London at the Whitechapel gallery, the film imagines a future when work is disguised as a video game and therefore no longer an arduous task. ‘Who needs a work-life balance when it’s all so much fun?’ the voiceover asks participants.

The interactive work uses virtual reality headsets to introduce visitors to a post-work society. The narrative plays out in the White Chapel Building in 2037, which is now home to an imagined digital automation start-up, Farsight.

Users watched trailers encouraging them to outsource tasks as much as possible, rewarding the most successful with access to perks including entertainment credits and e-holidays.

The Big Picture

  • As fears over job automation persist, artists such as Lawrence Lek are creating speculative scenarios to explore the effect that artificial intelligence (AI) may have on the future of the workplace. For more on the disruptive potential of AI read our Workplace Summit Report 2016
  • In his recent work Geomancer, artist Lawrence Lek looked at the extent to which AI can work creatively as well as functionally, and the effect this could have on the creative industries
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