We’ve all seen the wonders of Chat GPT, and with it comes some anxiety about the future with artificial intelligence.
How should we future-proof our career in the age of AI?
What skills to develop to stay relevant and competitive?
AI is rapidly improving and becoming more capable. In a world where AI can do so much, how do we work effectively with AI as our copilot?
This article was written by a Financial Horse Contributor.
The Impact of AI on Jobs
According to Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index Annual Report, 82% of leaders globally said employees would need new skills in an “AI-powered future.”.
If you wonder if your job will be impacted, the answer is probably yes.
Some estimate that AI could impact 300 million full-time jobs around the world. That’s a number too big to wrap your head around. There’s a great read by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic on how AI will transform our concept of work:
The release of ChatGPT and GPT-4, the latest large language model from OpenAI, has transformed the way millions of people think about the future of work.
People once believed that although machines were talented at replicating human brawn, general intelligence and creativity were firmly in the “for humans only” category.
But we may discover that the opposite is true: Text-to-image tools such as Midjourney give ordinary people with little artistic genius access to a superhuman savant of pastiche, allowing them to mix and match styles to create characters, design homes, and produce extraordinary images.
ChatGPT, using GPT-4 technology, can write code, poetry, parodies, news articles, book summaries, idea outlines, literature reviews, bibliographies, and bespoke Wikipedia pages about obscure historical events. The implications of this kind of program for white-collar industries are both thrilling and terrifying.
Frameworks to Assess the Risk of AI Taking Over Your Job
In AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee writes that jobs can be divided into four zones based on two factors: how social they are and how routine they are.
The more social and less routine your job is, the safer it is from AI disruption. The less social and more routine your job is, the more likely it is to be replaced by AI.
Here are the four zones of jobs and some examples:
These jobs are routine and cognitive, such as customer service and entry-level translation.
These jobs are easy for AI because they involve following rules and procedures with little human interaction. If you are in this zone, you should consider switching to a more creative or social job as soon as possible.
These jobs require creativity, but are asocial, such as artists, legal analysts and scientists.
These jobs are harder for AI because they involve problem-solving and strategic thinking. However, these jobs may still face competition from AI in the future as technology improves or work processes change. If you are in this zone, you should keep learning new skills and look for opportunities to add more human value to your work.
These jobs are cognitive and social, but not creative, such as doctors, teachers and remote tutors.
Machines can already do much of the computational or physical work, but these jobs are difficult to replace because a key social interactive element makes them difficult to automate easily. However, these jobs may still benefit from AI assistance or augmentation in some aspects of their work, such as diagnosis, grading or feedback. If you are in this zone, you should embrace AI as a tool rather than a threat and focus on enhancing your human skills and relationships.
These jobs are creative and social, such as psychiatrists, PR directors, and CEOs.
These jobs are safe from AI disruption because they involve high empathy and creative or strategy-based work. These jobs require human qualities that AI cannot replicate or replace in the foreseeable future.
New Core Competencies for Employees
The key takeaway from the framework is that your humanity is your greatest asset in the AI era. You need to leverage your social skills, creativity and empathy to create value that machines cannot.
Your humanity is your greatest asset in the AI era
But that’s not enough. You also need to develop your AI aptitude – a new set of skills that will help you work effectively with AI.
AI as your Copilot
In Microsoft’s Work Trend Report, they write that AI is ushering a paradigm shift to AI as a copilot. Working alongside AI will eventually be as natural as how we work using the internet and the PC.
According to their survey, leaders believe that skills like critical thinking, flexibility, and emotional intelligence are new core competencies. Other essential skills include intellectual curiosity, bias detection and handling, and AI delegation (prompts).
These skills will help you know when to use AI, how to write great prompts for it, how to evaluate its output, and how to check for bias.
As AI reshapes work, human-AI collaboration will be inevitable. Working iteratively with AI will be table stakes for any white-collar worker.
How to Stay Relevant in an AI-Powered Future
So how can you prepare yourself for the AI revolution and stay relevant in your career? Here are some tips:
Embrace lifelong learning
The pace of change is accelerating, and you need to keep up with it. Learn new skills and technologies that are relevant to your field or industry. Take online courses, attend workshops, read books and articles, and watch videos and podcasts. Stay curious and open-minded.
Leverage your human edge
While AI can outperform humans in many tasks that involve logic, calculation, and analysis, it cannot replicate human creativity, empathy, and emotional intelligence. These are the qualities that make you unique and valuable. Use them to solve problems, communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and create value for your customers and stakeholders.
Be adaptable and resilient
The AI revolution will bring many opportunities but also many challenges and uncertainties. You need to be flexible and willing to adapt to changing circumstances, from taking on new roles or working in new industries.
Derek Thompson writes that AI tools will revolutionise the modern workforce. As people become fluent in using AI tools, almost every job will be a co-production between human and machine. He writes: “‘Was this done with AI?’ will soon be as strange and redundant a question as ‘Was this done with an internet connection?’”
So embrace that the AI revolution is here and will change the world of work as we know it.
But it is not a threat to your career if you are prepared and proactive. By following these tips, you can remain relevant and survive in an AI-powered future.