Have you ever asked Siri to tell you the weather or Alexa to play your favourite song? Or perhaps have you tried ChatGPT to assist in your daily work or just out of curiosity?
Unless you live in a cave, you're bound to have had a glimpse of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in action.
We're living in an amazing era where technology, and lately AI applications, are starting to change our daily lives, our society, and, inevitably, the way we work, study, and progress in our careers.
Let's dive into this technological revolution to understand how it's shaping the jobs of tomorrow and which are the essential skills to hone.
The fast-paced evolution of jobs due to AI
The rate at which jobs evolve today is faster than ever before. Some professions disappear, others emerge, and the very nature of the required skills evolves accordingly. Even skilled workers are not safe from disruptions in their field, as AI now addresses not only routine tasks but also areas of thinking, analysis, calculation, and diagnosis.
The expected skills are no longer the same, and adaptability is becoming essential.
Let's see which jobs will likely be replaced by AI and those where the human role remains irreplaceable.
Jobs at risk
AI excels in executing repetitive tasks based on algorithms and data. Hence, certain professions are more exposed to automation than others. Jobs mainly centred on routine and predictable tasks, such as data entry operators, cashiers, and assembly line workers, are particularly vulnerable.
However, it's crucial to note that even in these jobs, AI can't do everything. AI automates mundane and repetitive tasks, allowing humans to focus on the more complex, creative, and strategic aspects of their work. For instance, while AI can automate some accounting tasks, it cannot make complex strategic financial decisions.
On the flip side, there are professions that withstand automation due to their complexity and human nature. Jobs centred on human relationships, like psychologists, social workers, and healthcare professionals, require a profound understanding of emotions, compassion, and empathy. These inherently human skills are tough for algorithms to replicate.
Moreover, professions involving creativity, critical thinking, and innovation, such as artists, writers, and researchers, are less likely to be automated. AI can be a valuable tool to assist these professionals in generating ideas, but it can't replace them in the creation process itself.
New AI jobs
With AI, new jobs are also emerging. The sector of professions closely linked to the creation and management of AI applications has been booming for a few months. According to estimates from a recent report by US investment bank Goldman Sachs, 300 million jobs might be replaced in the coming years by AI software programs.
These are primarily jobs surrounding algorithms, like AI engineers, data scientists, AI ethicists, automation and data management specialists, or more hybrid roles like the "psydesigner", blending psychology and design, or the “prompt engineer”, merging AI, machine learning, and digital marketing knowledge.
The Importance of soft skills in an AI-dominated world
Ultimately, it's essential to recognise that AI is a powerful tool, but it's just that - a tool. It can enhance the efficiency and automation of certain tasks but can't replace human skills. Communication, resilience, empathy, curiosity, adaptability, creativity, critical thinking, and lifelong learning are soft skills more valuable than ever.
The human role remains vital in supervision, ethical decision-making, complex problem-solving, and human relationship management. AI can be a valuable partner to help professionals perform their jobs more efficiently, but it cannot replace the essence of what makes us human beings.
Here are some practical strategies to help you continually develop your skills and be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow:
- Lifelong learning: Cultivate a lifelong learning mindset. Be ready to acquire new skills as needs evolve.
- Cultural intelligence: Learn to work with various cultures and understand cultural nuances as the world of work is becoming increasingly global.
- Critical thinking: Hone your ability to assess, analyse, and question outcomes produced by AI. Verify the work done by AI to ensure its accuracy.
- Empathy and collaboration: Develop your interpersonal skills to work effectively with other professionals.
To summarise, AI undeniably transforms the job landscape but doesn't make the human role obsolete. On the contrary, it underscores the importance of developing unique and irreplaceable human skills to thrive in an increasingly technological world.