-FUTURE OF WORK-

AUTOMATION DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE COLOUR OF YOUR COLLAR

There’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence today. Whether it’s the algorithms deployed by Facebook have us all floating around social media in our own personal news-feed bubbles or the ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that swiftly rejects your carefully crafted CV because you used the wrong keywords. Wherever you look, bots seem to be running almost everything.

Multi-tasking? Listen to this article on the go

by Unreplaceables.com

TECHNOLOGY IS GETTING SMARTER  

The  world is watching open-mouthed as we see advances in technology reaching faster and faster speeds. It really feels like we are living in a sci-fi movie and the plot is playing out in front of our very eyes.

But while all this innovation is exciting it also has a darker side that is shrouded in speculation and prophecy. As we draw closer to artificial intelligence that can rival the processing power of the human brain, we are slowly realising that this technology will likely outperform us in many tasks…and what happens to something when an alternative comes along that is faster, cheaper and more accurate?… It gets replaced.

Words of warning…

URGING FOR CAUTION  

Much of the media content concerning AI, automation and the future of work has focussed on dystopian views of the future, usually including titles like ‘The robots are coming for all our jobs!’. Fuel is added to these flames of panic courtesy of some of the biggest celebrity personalities from the world of business and science. One such person is Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), the celeb-entrepreneur who many people have dubbed as the ‘real life ‘Iron Man’. 

Over recent years, Musk has expressed his concerns regarding the future of AI. In a recent interview, Musk stated the following: “I think we should be cautious about AI. Artificial intelligence is the largest existential threat to the survival of the human race.” 

While Musk is boosting his exposure in the media with this kind of sensationalism, he is not alone in urging the world to be cautious with these new technologies. Similar comments have come from the likes of Bill Gates and the late Stephen Hawkin.

LOOKING PAST THE MACHINE

It is tricky to underestimate how smart AI has become over the past few years, and it seems to be growing at an exponential rate.
It is important to remember that, while these new incredible technologies and machines can be used for good and have the potential to change our world for the better, it is the human beings behind the scenes who hold all the cards.

The companies behind these technologies (or the corporations that end up acquiring them) hold of all the power when it comes to whether these technologies bring us closer together or push us further apart. 

Perhaps what we should fear the most is not the machines themselves but the humans building the programs and controlling the processes.

AI IS CREEPING CLOSER AND CLOSER   

While not capable of what we know as abstract thought, artificial intelligence is rapidly mastering tasks and skills that in the past would have been considered the realm of humans alone. This is why they are being used in a multitude of industries such as medicine, finance, and education, as the need for immediate and efficient answers increases in these areas.

The threat of AI is no longer confined to those manual or repetitive task based jobs.  Now it has its eyes laser-locked on the white collar jobs that involve more advanced decision-making such as administrators, and business managers – and it seems like there is no industry that is outside of its reach.

“Will our employers save us?”

GOING BACK TO SCHOOL   

It is no good expecting that industry will value human labor and skills any higher than that of a robot. The cold hard truth always comes down to cold hard cash.

If you are in any doubt as to whether companies will replace their workers with robots, consider the following

  • Companies will need to keep up with the changing technologies and their competition
  • Emerging tech represents huge cost savings for companies (you don’t even need lights in a robot workplace)
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics are able to run 24/7 without toilet breaks, holidays or sickies

These are some of the factors that are contributing to the rapid growth of AI. But, handing over the ability to robots and AI to diagnose diseases, choose the best investments and even drive our cars, could spell hard times for millions of us.

PLANNING FOR TOMORROW, TODAY

So is the situation with AI hopeless? Are collar-blind bots and machines destined to replace us? It might appear so, but there is hope. One thing that machines cannot do is to be creative…well not yet anyway. Despite their amazing ability to think through problems based on experience or prior information, they do not have the basic human component of creativity which all of us possess.

Computers, in the end, are void of the very characteristics that make humans human: the ability to create something original and new that is designed more from the heart than from the logical mind.

Therefore, training for a creative mind, may guarantee that you can keep working in your chosen profession no matter how far AI gets in the future.

“The real problem is not whether machines will learn to think and be kind to others, but whether mankind will.”

ADAPT TO SURVIVE   

In addition to the idea of creativity and working on skills that bots are less likely to emulate, workers today as well as business owners, must be able to adapt to the changing needs of the workforce and the changes that will continue to occur in the world of technology.

Like Pandora’s Box, now that we have opened the lid on AI, it cannot be uninvented. It will likely be with us until the end of time. The key to survival for humans for the future is to be prepared to roll with the changes.

THINK DIFFERENT  

To stay marketable in your current career, you have to do what Steve Jobs often said and think different. Think about the tasks that your position requires that you do and then think about which ones could be performed by machines or robotic technology.

The golden rule is that if you are doing exactly the same tasks this month as you were last month, then your job is at risk of automation in the future.

Consider new ways to robot-proof your career and your life so that you become more and more creative and thereby create a job for yourself that cannot ever be replaced.

Think repetitiveness when you are thinking about what you do in your job or career. The more repetitive or mundane the task, the more consistent it is regarding the function or production, the more likely it is to be replaced by robotic technology. 

“No room for the cookie cutter approach anymore”

AVOID BEING DUPLICATED    

In essence, what we are saying is that the “cookie cutter” approach is what is taking jobs away from humans and handing them to the AI machines. Whatever can be emulated, copied, or duplicated with a pattern, or a systematic approach could be theoretically, given to an AI system to do instead.

If you stay away from anything that looks like a process that could be produced by machines rather than people, you will come closer to securing your position with your career and immunizing yourself against the coming onslaught that many are predicting will occur over the next decade or so.

When we consider which professions will be immune to automation, the answers revolve around those jobs where our humanness plays a key part. A couple of examples of these would be: 

1. Helping others – There is nothing more human than a social worker or counselor who deals with people on a person-to-person basis to help them deal with the problematic aspects of their lives. No robot, neither now nor in the future can attempt to replace the touch of a caring counselor, the listening, empathetic ear of a therapist or social worker, or the way in which these professionals can reach their patients in a personal way.

2. Educate– The teacher will also never be replaced fully by robotic technologies. Sure, many of the tasks that teachers have had to be responsible for in the past have been eliminated due to smartboard technology and the trend to let students become autonomous learners. But teachers will still be needed to guide a group of students in a task, to brainstorm ideas and troubleshoot student difficulties, and to help a student on a personal level.

The need for connection and social interaction with other humans runs to the very core of who we are as a species. That need is not going away and is the reason that there will always be high demand for individuals who are genuinely able to meet another person’s needs.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that Dave…”

THE GENIE IS OUT OF THE BOTTLE  

In the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the computer that has been programmed and utilized by its engineer, ‘Dave’, must be made to self-destruct. This is because it had become too dangerous and has started making its own decisions when it encountered a crisis, all to the detriment of humans.

It is difficult to look at the path we are on and not feel some sense of concern that the future, especially when it comes to unemployment from automation, could well be leaning towards a distinctly dystopian angle.

Technology is not going to stop moving forward and it seems that even if we wanted to halt things, we couldn’t. It is inevitable that we will see enormous change over the next decade and, as technology finds new ways to do the work we do cheaper and faster, there are going to be many individuals who fall through the cracks left by these seismic shifts.  It would be very naive to look to our governments for a solution to the impending jobs crisis. The type of fundamental shift in our culture and laws that would be needed to swerve around this automation iceberg, take most governments in the western world decades to implement.

It’s clear we must step up and take control individually and that is what we are trying to help with.

We believe in staying on top of what is happening in the AI world so that you can plan your own future.

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE?

So is the situation hopeless? Are robots and artificial intelligence destined to replace our jobs? While that may be the case for many, it doesn't need to be for you. Join the Unreplaceables and together we will make you futureproof. 

JOIN THE UREPLACEABLES FOR FREE!

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE?

So is the situation hopeless? Are robots and artificial intelligence destined to replace our jobs? While that may be the case for many, it doesn't need to be for you. Join the Unreplaceables and together we will make you futureproof. 

JOIN THE UREPLACEABLES FOR FREE!

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