Artificial Intelligence & the Labour Market of the Future

Artificial Intelligence Blog wide strategy

Artificial Intelligence, widely known as “AI”, has become a popular topic amongst technology, education and business circles. I have certainly spent a significant amount of time trying to understand its implications and what it means, not only from the perspective of businesses, but also from a societal perspective.

There are various reasons for which AI has become a hot topic.

First, everyone knows and talks about AI, but very few people actually understand it. In wide terms, we’re talking about “intelligence exhibited by machines”, give us the ability to identify patterns and predict behaviours and eventually help businesses get to better outcomes quicker.

Second, more industries have been transformed in ways that we’ve never seen before and AI is widely applicable to a whole range of them. From Medicine, to Electronic Trading, to Transportation and more, there is no confinement on AI’s applications.

Third, AI is the closest a machine has ever gotten to resemble human behaviour. If you think about what this means in practice, previously we were able to tell when our car needed repair, our doctors’ diagnosis was challenged by other doctors, not machines, and the financial industry relied on good old client-rep relationships as opposed to client – machine – rep relationships.

And that last point is what is worth reflecting upon.

What is interesting about that proximity or “diminishing gap” between machine and human behaviour is the implications it will bring on the societal front. Labour that is currently being performed by humans is now expedited and completed to better standards by machines.

Which leaves us with a few important questions: what will the labour force of the future look like? What skills do future employees need to have in order to be considered “employable”? And what can companies and schools do today, in order to prepare employees and students of tomorrow?

There are multiple ways to approach that question, and multiple schools of thought on AI’s impact, but I’d like to bring your attention to the rise of Emotional Intelligence and the crucial role it could play in that new labour market that is being created. For more on the topic, I recommend Megan Beck’s HBR article on the subject.

Written by A. Walker

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