Should we be worried about our jobs in the age of A.I.?

The answer to this loaded question is yes and no. There is no doubt artificial intelligence (A.I.) is invading the business world, but if we play our cards right and develop the necessary tools, we can add value in ways that A.I. currently does not.

We already see the use of A.I. in many industries, it started with manufacturing and now it’s used in every sector from healthcare, education to almost every type of business. A.I. is faster, it reads and analyzes data more rapidly, and can learn with that data quicker. Basically, humans are feeding these programs with data and ways of doing things, and A.I., being so efficient, does the job faster than humans. So, the answer is yes, if you have a job where time is money, then efficiency and productivity are key.

In healthcare, A.I. is already being used to make better and faster diagnoses than trained physicians.

In business, more and more, a bulk of the analytics, research, CRM tools, even customer service, is being processed by machine learning systems. While visiting a website, if you see a chatbox pop up on your screen asking if you need assistance, you are having that conversation with a chat robot (chatbot), not a human.

In education, it is estimated that machines can start teaching, and we might not have a need for human teachers to learn things.

In finance, most of the trading in Wall Street is being done by software already.

Even in law, there are practices that A.I. will take over.

Manufacturing has long been the playing field for robots, and now, they’ve started to perform even more complex tasks.

Should I even get into transportation, and driverless cars? It doesn’t matter which industry we work with, we are not immune to these changes, and it can feel like our jobs are at risk.

However, the answer could easily be turned into a NO if we can add value in ways that A.I. cannot. Artificial intelligence can be quite efficient and smart with the data we feed it. Yes, A.I. can learn. It can learn by observing the environment around it. It can use past data experiences to inform future decisions. However, A.I. cannot take on a human psyche, its own belief systems, morality, ethics, culture and value, which all impact human decision-making. Perhaps most importantly, the most important trait for humans – that which sets us apart and deems us superior to any machine – is our imagination, which shines through when we break down the limits to our creative minds and innovative abilities.

recent IBM study of 1,500 CEOs worldwide revealed that creativity is the single most important skill for leaders. The World Economic Forum recently announced creativity to be the next big thing in business, even in this booming age of A.I. Why? A.I. doesn’t have the capability to dream about what could be. A.I. wouldn’t be able to guide Elon Musk to send a car to space or tell Einstein about the concept of relativity. It’s just a tool, and it gives us immense capabilities to make things happen. It will give us speed and flexibility, it will lower costs and make our ideas financially feasible. However, as humans, we still hold the power to imagine, overcome complexities in business and create the future. By transforming data into insights, we can act on these ideas to achieve business planning goals. We as the workforce of future, should focus our energy to innovative and create. We can only stay relevant if we use our creative powers and give them a boost.

This is where it gets tricky. In the last decades, businesses have been under pressure to focus on efficiency and productivity, which has shaped and impacted the skills and the mindset of the workforce, as well. Ironically, as we were building our skills with concept like “7 habits of Highly Effective People,” A.I. was being developed to take care of this part of the business in more efficient ways than us humans could.

What will help us with job security in this machine-learning age will be our ability to take risks, imagine, create, think, lead, and behave differently.  It’s time to get in touch with our innate human traits, polish those creative powers and start using them. As Picasso said, “We are all born creative but the challenge is to stay creative as we age.”

There are so many ways to unlock your individual creativity and apply it to innovative business planning when you follow the right approach under the right conditions.

To learn more about how to polish your creativity, build capability in your company or teams, you can always contact us for more information. We’d be happy to share our experience with you and your teams.

I will leave you with this wonderful ad by Microsoft on A.I., which simply asks what you will do when you get that brush in your hand? What is the future you will create?