I am really interested in the impact artificial intelligence will have on the future of work. I am interested on a personal level but also at a wider level. It raises questions such as: What do I need to do to ensure my skills remain relevant in the future? What will it mean for the future of work generally?
I am, by nature, a glass half full person. I’m always seeking the positive and to use any bad experiences to do better next time. So rather than looking at the threat posed by the rise of artificial intelligence, I want to explore the impact it has had, the impact it might have and what we need to do to ride the wave. One thing is certain, doing nothing is not an option. This is large-scale transformational change, whether we like it or not.
I’ve written an article, “Artificial Intelligence: Transforming work and the skills required,” which pulls together information and ideas from a variety of resources to explore my questions.
I’ve suggested some ideas for what we might do as individuals, by thinking about it from an age perspective. How many ‘working age’ years have you got left (assuming there’s no immediate change in the pensionable age) and how likely is your job to be heavily affected by Artificial Intelligence?
I’ve also looked at it from an organisational viewpoint. What do organisations need to do to ensure their organisations remain relevant? If you think back ten years, there were plenty of small retail outlets on the high street refilling ink cartridges. When did you last see one of those? At a less strategic level, what about the skills and capabilities that will be required? I predict a need for people to become much better at dealing with data, separating the wheat from the chaff and then having the confidence to take decisions.
Training and re-training will no longer be an optional extra to help get a better job. It will become a necessity for survival.
The right course of action will vary from individual to individual and from one organisation to another. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all. I’m already looking at our organisation and asking how will we be affected and what will we be offering to our clients to ensure we continue to be relevant to them. Personally, I’m looking seriously at my own skills and have set myself the target of completing one serious course of study every year for the next few years.
Looking at your own organisation, is now the right time to invest in a training programme to develop the skills that will be most relevant in the future? Management games and business simulation games where individuals work together (giving and receiving feedback and overcoming obstacles) in a collaborative manner could be the way forward.