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Artificial intelligence and the work world

Insights into the new world of work

Is artificial intelligence coming for my job?

If your job is repetitive and requires minimal independent decision making, the short answer is yes.

Yes, artificial intelligence, robots, and engineers behind these innovations are coming for your job. 

So, you should take this time to upskill. With the changing economy, it is no longer a viable excuse to say you “don’t like computers” and therefore won’t use them. Furthermore, as a society we should pour resources and training dollars to ensure that no-one who wants to gain additional skills is shut out of a job in the future because they can’t afford it or don’t have access to the technology.

The future of work

What becomes a more interesting question is: 

“What will the future of work look like when we work alongside artificial intelligence?”

In the world of chess, there is not a grandmaster alive who can beat a well coded 99 cent phone app. Computers have come a long way.

And yet it’s important to recognize that computers think and excel at different kinds of tasks than we do. A computer beats grandmasters because they are able to “see into the future” more possible moves ahead and calculate the optimal play in every possibility. They win the war of attrition by consistently making moves that are just a little bit better based on hundreds of thousands of calculations.

However, the moment that you change the rules, the algorithm becomes inoperable. Let’s say that we set up the board randomly or add a new piece that moves differently from the others. The value of humans is that they have flexible, malleable thinking and can make independent decisions without having to relearn the entire game.

Currently, the world’s leading grandmasters (who can beat other humans) are the people who religiously consult computers for optimal plays in practice and then are able to blend this with flexible, independent decision making when playing others. However, it’s also important to note that if you can download an app on your phone and have access to basically the same resources. Novice human players today are vastly better than they were a decade ago.

So how will AI impact your job?

All of our industries are seeing an infusion of AI. For recruiters, we are learning the ways of an applicant tracking system. Similar to a chess program, it’s able to quickly find candidates and also recall past interactions with those people. 

What it lacks is also important to note: the ability to read between the lines on a person’s resume, the ability be creative and see other possible jobs for which they might fit, the ability to have a conversation. Hiring humans is complicated and requires other humans and will for the foreseeable future. 

Even basic communication skills, such as responding to an email, is very difficult for a computer to do well. Language is complicated and built on very complicated and ever-changing rules. However, you can gain a lot from turning on spell check before you reply to the email.

The bottom line: learn to work with computers. They are a tool, not some scary overlord. The most successful workers in the future will be those who can learn to adopt and utilize these new tools.

Are you ready to upskill?

Peak Performers can help you find a new career. If you don’t have many computer skills, check out Workforce Solutions to learn about the free and subsidized programs they have. You can learn in-person with Austin Community College or online with Metrix and IBM SkillsBuild.

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