A lot of people are worried about losing their job to AI and automation, not just factory workers. When people express concern about the future, they are saying that they do not know how to mould themselves for what is coming. I say, who cares?

One of the exercises I do in my workshops is to ask participants to close their eyes, and as I speak to slowly unravel back to what their dream job was, what they wanted to do with their lives when they were young. And you know what? It’s very rarely what they are doing now.

If you want to have more security about your work for the future, you need to be more connected to your passion, your beliefs and your endeavours. When people worry about AI, they are essentially worrying that this thing, a job, will be taken from them. This worries people because we identify with our work, we think of ourselves as an accountant, a lawyer, a journalist, a cleaner, a programmer. When what we are is who we are and what we do is separate, convenient, often coincidental. It’s one of the ways that we stop thinking about the way the world works and how we can influence that, we give up on our ideas and we get a Jay Oh Bee.

If you look at how our education works, we’re essentially being programmed to be robots: give the only right answer in the right amount of time. Know the facts, repeat them, stay in your lane and don’t ask difficult questions that are above your pay grade.

Thing is, we have no invented robots (some time ago actually) and AI is developing nicely. THEY do these kinds of things way better than humans can. Humans do OTHER things better.  Why are we not being educated for that?

What can humans do better than AI?

  1. Free associate

An Ai can only compare what it is told to compare. We, on the other hand, have the capacity to compare IT development systems with day to day financial business (Agile). We can compare a computer to a telephone (yeah, the smartphone) We can smash unlikely things together BECAUSE we are not programmed to only follow what we know.

2. Fantasise

The ability to fantasise is essentially the ability to engage with a conceptual reality as if it actually exists. We use this to play out scenarios, work out the best approaches and simply think new things into being. AI is nowhere near being able to do that

3. Emote

While much of how we learn to get good at things as humans closely resembles machine learning in many ways, we can emote, we can FEEL, and we can use emotion to explore ideas and options. We don’t know what emotions are, or how they originate or how they work. So, we can’t programme an AI to do it. Which means that yes, your emotions, understanding them, being comfortable with them. Is essential for your future.

What Henry Ford did when he invented the assembly line, was find a way to deploy ill-educated, non-technical people into the making of a technological product by deliberately limiting their freedom, their choices and their options. Modern management and workplaces replicate this slavishly. But the world has changed.

Isn’t it time we changed too?