How to save your career from the oncoming job onslaught by AI and Robotics

How to save your career from the oncoming job onslaught by AI and Robotics

ChatGPT and the jobs market

The spectacularly successful launch of the ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence (AI) software in recent weeks has generated a lot of chatter about how it will affect the jobs market.

Developed by San Francisco-based company OpenAI, ChatGPT is a long-form Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT3) system that answers complex questions conversationally. Last December, ChatGPT reached 1 million users within one week of its public release, showing just how much interest there is in this technology.

What has generated this strong response is ChatGPT’s remarkable ability to provide answers that appear surprisingly human due to their use of conversational dialogue.

A new generation of smart machines could potentially replace a large proportion of existing human jobs

With such improvements in AI and expansion in associated areas such as robotics, these technologies are predicted to completely replace the roles of one in five workers within the next five to 15 years. A recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report concluded that “a new generation of smart machines, fuelled by rapid advances in AI and robotics, could potentially replace a large proportion of existing human jobs”.

The productivity impact and supply chain disruption caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic during the past three years has pushed companies to fast-track deployment of new technologies to improve productivity, cut costs and reduce reliance on employees.

A future tech-driven economy could create millions of new jobs

However, the impact of new technology on employment is not a one-way street. While US research warns that as many as 85 million jobs may be lost, it predicts that a future tech-driven economy could create 97 million new jobs. Forecasts globally suggest that the productivity balance will change dramatically to a 50-50 combination of humans and machines.

Roles likely to face obsolescence include bookkeeping/data entry; receptionists; customer service; copywriters; proof-readers; editors; graphic designers; couriers; taxi drivers; etc.

Roles that will succeed in an AI-enabled economy will require human soft skills

Roles that will succeed in an AI-enabled economy will require human skills – “soft” skills – such as communication, leadership, conflict resolution, negotiation, empathy, creativity and critical thinking.

Technical skills – ‘hard’ skills – are typically made obsolete by changing technology while soft skills remain transferable across time and place.

For example, while AI may be fine to write a contract, it takes the intent of suppliers, lawyers and leaders to negotiate its terms; the nuance and influence of a salesperson to make it happen; and the courts to interpret its impact. Leaders create the vision for a company while HR builds the teams to fulfil it. AI may generate vast amounts of valuable data, but it’s individuals and teams who leverage that data through decisions which align with values to move the company forward.

Soft skills are not just essential to our future tech-driven economy, they are readily learnable once you recognise their value. It’s important to understand, learn and invest in soft skills because these are how you can professionally survive and thrive during the rise of AI and robots.

You can find useful guides about how to build your soft skills by reading previous Career Crossroads International blogs which cover topics including:

For your first step, click here to use the Career Crossroads International Soft Skills assessment tool.

About Michael Boyd

Michael Boyd is the Founder and Director of Career Crossroads International, (CCI) an Australian based organisation working across the globe that uses more than 20 years of talent management experience and expertise to bring people and business together. Our unique, personal, approach forms lasting strategic partnerships with our clients to deliver a bespoke talent management service that always exceeds expectations.