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Artificial intelligence:The Biggest Threat to Knowledge Workers?

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most talked-about trends in the tech industry today. Some experts believe that AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we work, while others are concerned that it could lead to widespread job losses.

McKinsey & Co. just dropped a new report, and sadly for those of us who like job security, it’s not painting the rosiest picture while it’s saying AI might take over a 60-70% of all work hours in the foreseeable future.

According to McKinsey & Co, the people who should be most worried are knowledge workers, like me That includes anyone from software developers and engineers to editors and pharmacists. Basically, if your job revolves around knowing stuff and using that knowledge, AI is quickly getting good at your job.

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The progress is happening rapidly. Initial research from the company indicated that AI technology would not reach the ability to match an average human’s performance in tasks involving “natural-language understanding” until 2027. However, McKinsey now predicts that this milestone will be achieved this very year.

Even though these findings could be a buzzkill, they’re also pointing out that AI could give us new job opportunities and ramp up productivity. The trick for businesses is to be on their toes and get ready for all the changes AI is going to bring.

For those of us breaking a sweat about the future of our jobs, here are a few  advices. And guess where I got these pointers from? None other than “The Enemy” itself – the all-knowing Google Bard. If anyone’s got the inside knowledge, it’s Bard…or ChatGPT..or!:

  • Learn AI and Machine Learning: Equip yourself with AI skills. Understanding AI and Machine Learning (ML) can give you a competitive edge. You might be the one designing and maintaining AI systems instead of being replaced by them.
  • Soft Skills: As AI takes over more technical tasks, the uniquely human skills like communication, empathy, and leadership become even more valuable. These skills are hard for AI to replicate and are crucial for most job roles.
  • Data Literacy: Data is the fuel for AI. Being proficient in data analysis and understanding how to interpret and leverage data will be a crucial skill in the AI era.
  • Problem-Solving: AI is great at solving clearly defined problems, but complex and ambiguous challenges still require the human touch. Improving your problem-solving skills can make you more adaptable and valuable.
  • Keep learning. AI keeps changing, so make sure you’re clued up on the latest and greatest. Take courses, read articles, hit up conferences.
  • Become a Jack-of-all-trades eg a Generalist. In the future, AI could do a lot of the tasks you’re currently doing. To stay in the game, you’ll need to be able to handle a bunch of different roles. That means getting to know both the business and tech sides of things.
  • Be creative…. AI’s great at doing what it’s told, but not so good at coming up with fresh ideas. That’s where you and me should shine. Don’t be afraid to think outside the famous box and brainstorm innovative solutions.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Consider creating your own AI-related solutions to existing problems. Becoming an innovator or entrepreneur in the field of AI can open up new opportunities.
  • Network: Build relationships with other professionals in your field. Networking can lead to new opportunities and collaborations that you might not discover otherwise.
  • and last…..Be a team player. AI can’t do it all on its own. It needs people to help with stuff like collecting and labeling data, and testing. Be open to working with others and sharing what you know.

Maybe and just maybe..with these pointers in mind, you and I can boost our odds of keeping our game strong in the AI era.