The threat of AI displacing human workers from their jobs isn’t new. But it has grown in recent years and looms even larger because of the pandemic.
You wouldn’t be inclined to listen to an AI when it comes to major life decisions. People trust executive matchmakers, not algorithms when seeking serious relationships. Apps and automation are something we use to handle mundane tasks.
Yet, AI has the potential to help further your career. If you make the necessary adjustments and figure out how to use it to your advantage, you can be ahead of the curve. And you don’t even need to learn a lick of coding or be able to engineer robots, to benefit.
Don’t compete in efficiency
The world of work is witnessing constant and rapid change because of advances in technology. Workers have to keep learning to keep pace, while new graduates find themselves ill-equipped to handle many jobs, and students aren’t learning necessary skills in school. McKinsey estimates that 85% of today’s students will hold jobs in 2030 that don’t exist yet.
Not all of that change is being driven by AI. But much of it results from our constant search for newer and better ways to do things. Companies seek greater efficiency in their processes while also attempting to identify opportunities to reduce complexity brought about by innovations and new regulations.
AI is an umbrella encompassing many forms of technology. It can involve robotics, machine learning, or natural language processing. Regardless of the details, however, most businesses will establish a use case tied to those core needs: improving efficiency and reducing complexity.
This offers the first insight into furthering your career with AI. Don’t hunker down and keep improving at a task that AI will soon perform better than you. Rather, focus on the human skills that can complement it.
For instance, advances in data analytics can render many marketing professionals irrelevant. To survive, a marketer would need to get better at delivering a deeper layer of insights on top of what algorithms can easily point out.
Competing against AI in terms of efficiency alone will be a losing battle. But if you seek instead to complement it with human creativity, you make the combination of man and machine more attractive to future employers.
Training and explaining
It’s often said that even as AI displaces people from jobs, it will give rise to others. But those effects won’t slice evenly across professions and industries.
If your skillset is directly related to developing AI, you have to stay on top of new developments in your field. But everyone else may be faced with the prospect of wholesale skill change. The idea of pivoting might not appeal to everyone, depending on what stage they’re at in their respective careers.
The good news is that you might not have to make such a drastic transition. Even as organizations begin to adopt AI, they may want to provide a human touch. They will definitely need to have someone serve as an effective bridge to manage the integration.
You can leverage your expertise as a company insider to help developers train AI and add that human element to their systems. Or you can become an ‘explainer’ and liaise between the technologists and C-suite executives who don’t have an inherent grasp of what, exactly, AI is doing for business.
Use AI to learn
The future scenario where millions of workers lose their jobs to AI is not here yet. Most people still hold down their positions. This is the perfect time to prepare yourself for a workplace where machines will augment humans.
In its modern state, AI isn’t capable of taking over many tasks. But it can already help to facilitate learning, including re-skilling and upskilling workers. Several tech startups are using AI to help give workers the necessary skills to remain competitive in an automated world. They use machine learning to identify areas for improvement and align them with their needs and emerging opportunities in their industry.
Unfortunately, not all employers are taking steps in that direction, despite acknowledging that AI will eventually play a prominent role in their plans. You can push for change in that regard, take matters into your own hands, and seek AI-guided microlearning for your personal development.
Ultimately, the future workplace will feature an increased presence of AI in some form. Anticipate that with these improvements, and you can emerge as an asset to any organization.