Since the explosive rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, the question “Will AI take my job?” has become more prevalent than ever. Simultaneously, AI-powered tools remain a staple for digital transformation strategies in organizations across industries. It’s no wonder why employees are weary. But we’re here to end the uncertainty with an official answer. 👇
“Will AI Take My Job?”
We’ve got both good and bad news:
The bad news: We won’t sugarcoat it: Some jobs will be taken by AI – That is, jobs entirely consumed by monotonous, repetitive tasks will likely be eliminated. Or, if not outright eliminated, these jobs’ responsibilities will change to meet new needs.
The (3x) good news:
1. Gartner has predicted that while AI will eliminate 1.8 million jobs, it will create over 2 million net-new jobs by 2025. So, there will be new jobs to explore along with existing ones if you need to pivot.
2. Many organizations are investing in their employees by embracing reskilling. If a role becomes obsolete, the employer may give the employee the option to start a reskilling program to take on a new role in the company. This way, you can skip the job hunt and kick off your professional development journey.
3. While AI will take over some repetitive tasks, in most knowledge-intensive tasks, people are more likely to find themselves working in partnership with machines than they are to lose their job.
The bottom line: AI will likely fundamentally transform how many of us do our jobs. To stay relevant, we need to work both against and with AI.
8 Skills to Master to Compete and Collaborate with AI
Undoubtedly, AI systems are incredibly skilled at many tasks. To remain competitive, we human employees need to double down on our human-centric skills and abilities that machines can’t do.
But AI can’t reach its full potential alone: Organizations need the very human skills of critical and strategic thinking to remain ethical and transfer AI’s output into business growth and agility. And this is where employee-machine collaboration can help.
It’s not just your company that will benefit from this collaboration. As a bonus, learning to work with AI more effectively can have a positive effect on your work life:
- 83% of people currently using AI in their jobs believe it can help reduce burnout and increase job satisfaction.
- And 80% think it will help them do their job better.
Let’s explore 8 skills you can hone to both compete and collaborate with AI, plus examples of how to practice them:
Working Against AI: How to Future-Proof Yourself Against AI
1. Emotional Intelligence
AI is doing its best to imitate people skills like empathy and self-awareness, but it’s just an illusion. And that’s hard to ignore when you interact with machines. Even if a robot is polite and helpful, it doesn’t feel the same as a positive human interaction and never will. That’s why it’s worth our time to hone our people skills with efforts like:
- Taking on Leadership Positions: Even if you’re not in a leadership or management-level role, you can step up to lead projects, which will exercise your people skills. Effective leaders will always be valuable in organizations as they help facilitate better problem-solving. But they can also create enhanced work quality and job satisfaction by cultivating a sense of community and mutual support.
- Practice Your Customer Service Skills: Yes, chatbots are popular with consumers, thanks in part to the 81% of consumers who prefer to do online research before interacting with a company directly. But when they’re ready to have that conversation, it’s all on you to truly nail it and win them over.
- Solve Complex Customer Support Issues: Additionally, AI is adept at handling routine, structured tasks, but it often needs help with handling complex, ambiguous, and novel issues. So, in a customer support setting, you might let AI handle the frequently asked questions and common, simple problems customers face. Then you might dive headfirst into the more complex customer issues to give customers the technical support they need with a side of empathy. These scenarios can be high stakes and be the difference between a customer remaining loyal or leaving for good, making excellent people skills invaluable.
2. Strategic, Holistic Thinking
Strategic, holistic thinking is another cognitive ability that humans possess that AI lacks. It allows us to identify patterns that AI might miss, analyze data, see the bigger picture, and develop innovative solutions. Here are some strategies that can help you improve your strategic, holistic thinking skills:
- Continually Develop Your Skills and Knowledge: Stay updated on your industry’s latest developments through online courses, workshops, and reading industry publications.
- Adopt Systems Thinking: Practice viewing scenarios as interconnected systems by looking for ways that changes in one area can impact others. Additionally, look for underlying patterns and relationships. You may even use the exercise of Scenario Planning to imagine potential scenarios and apply systems thinking to them.
3. Creativity and Outside-the-Box Thinking
It’s also worth strengthening your ability to think creatively and use algorithms in novel ways. AI can provide market research and generate ideas based on patterns and data. But it’s typically obvious when a “creative” idea is AI-generated, as it might not quite fit the target audience, its messaging might be a little off, and it may fail to account for context. True creativity and innovation often arise from the ability to connect seemingly unrelated concepts and ideas, which is human territory. To practice these skills, you can:
- Look Outside Your Circle: Don’t limit yourself to your field when looking for ideas. Exposure to different industries, perspectives, and cultures can enrich creative thinking. Whether it’s podcasts, reading books, or observing how leading companies design their websites or social media accounts, you never know where inspiration will strike.
- Collaborate: Brainstorming or working with others from various backgrounds and even departments within your organization can inspire new ways of approaching challenges. It can even help build an innovative culture.
4. Critical and Ethical Thinking
Sure, AI positively impacts our world. But with all its power, seeing this as a given is dangerous. To address this, AI users need to prioritize ethics. As a human employee, you need to critically assess AI system inferences and understand algorithms’ ethical implications, like privacy and accountability. To improve your abilities with ethical AI oversight, you can:
- Understand Key Principles: Educate yourself and your team about the ethical implications of AI, including principles like fairness, accountability, privacy, and transparency in AI development.
- Practice Skepticism: Regularly question the assumptions and biases in AI algorithms and data. Be aware of potential discriminatory outcomes and work to identify and rectify bias in both training data and model outcomes.
- Stay in the Know: Keep up-to-date with the latest developments in AI ethics and responsible AI practices. For example, you might attend workshops, conferences, and read relevant research to stay informed about emerging ethical challenges.
5. Invest in Your Personal Brand
Building a respected, authentic brand can help you stand out and create more valuable output than generic AI work. This is especially the case if you come from a creative line of work, but it can range from anything from:
- Positioning your expertise on a website or social platform
- Creating your own graphic art style
- Developing your own writing voice
- Showing your personality on social platforms to support a social selling strategy
Working With AI: How to Bolster Your Work by Collaborating with AI
6. Data Analytics Skills
To use AI to your advantage, you need to understand the results generated by AI algorithms. After all, not all data is quality data or even relevant to your work. These insights will help inform and support better decision-making. Some of the most important areas to expand your knowledge in are:
- Your capacity to identify relevant data and assess its credibility.
- Your ability to validate results by testing hypotheses.
- Creating and tailoring clear, comprehensible visualizations to communicate AI-generated results.
7. AI Literacy
AI has many promising capabilities, but it also has its limitations. To work effectively with AI, you need to understand how its algorithms work and how they can assist in your own decision-making. Conversely, you need to be well-versed in the biases and limits that affect AI’s decision-making. With awareness of these strengths and weaknesses, you can reap the benefits of AI without your work quality taking a hit due to bias or inaccuracy. To increase your AI literacy, you can pursue:
- Foundational Learning: Begin with a solid understanding of AI concepts like machine learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. This forms the basis for your AI journey.
- Online Courses and Tutorials: Take reputable online courses that cover AI and machine learning. These structured resources provide comprehensive learning experiences you can apply to the work you do with AI in your day-to-day work life.
- Stay Informed: Regularly follow AI experts, read news articles, and attend workshops or conferences to stay updated with the latest trends and developments.
8. Communicating with AI
The quality and relevance of your AI-generated data greatly rely on your ability to communicate your needs and objectives with the AI systems themselves. This is especially the case with generative AI tools like ChatGPT. But you also need to know how to interpret and communicate the results AI gives you to others. Here are some ways you can practice your AI communication skills:
- Hone Your Prompt Engineering Skills: Trends show that we tend to talk to advanced AI tools as if they were humans, or as if we were doing a simple Google search. But this is far from effective. Studying effective prompt structures for AI systems can help us learn how to create AI prompts that elicit our desired responses. This practice is known as prompt engineering, which you can practice by testing out differently worded prompts.
- Keep Up With the Latest in Prompt Engineering: Following prompt engineering experts on LinkedIn or blogs can be an easy way to pick up tips and tricks you can try out.
Find Your Balance with AI
There’s no denying that we have already lost some skills to AI. But dwelling on that reality is far less productive than embracing the skills that give us a competitive advantage as humans.
Remember that humans have unique cognitive abilities that AI cannot completely replicate. By developing these skills and learning to work effectively with AI, human employees can compete with AI and partner with it to enhance the quality of their work.
Want More Content Like This?
Subscribe to the Naviant Blog. Each Thursday, we’ll send you a recap of our latest info-packed blog so you can be among the first to access the latest trends and expert tips on workflow, intelligent automation, the cloud, and more.