I was researching something for an article that I was writing and it was dated Saturday 2nd April. It seemed so relevant to what I was thinking at the time and I wanted to use it but really needed to ascertain the year that it was written; it might have been discredited if it was out-of-date or superseded by the next innovative thought. So I thought my quickest, most effective and accurate means of determining the document date was to check it with Siri. You have evidence of the outcome in the image!
AI is coming, whether we like it or not. Well, actually it’s here already, like it or not, accurate or not, morally right or not, and it will not be leaving us anytime soon. In terms of river analogies, which seem to have grabbed a significant part of my attention of late, 2020 combined with AI is a bubbling rapid combined with a treacherously fast current rushing over a deep underwater channel and undercut, rocky banks that make it seemingly impossible to climb out of when you’ve fallen in. The pandemic has certainly created tricky meanders which, along with technological ‘advances’ have propelled us towards a very different river view. It has
certainly fast-forwarded many future predictions. For example, the consultancy group, McKinsey predicted by 2030 there would be 800 million jobs lost to automation worldwide; for sure the pandemic has speeded up this process but it seems it was coming anyway!
So, in order for me to be relevant in my dotage, is it really necessary for me to learn to code? Should I derail myself and head back to train as a robotic, research or data scientist? Or hone my technical and analytical skills, and pursue becoming a business analyst?
No, absolutely not because I believe that the future requires much greater emphasis on the skills you can’t code, like empathy, negotiation and creativity.
Think of the skills that it takes to carry out the following tasks: Parenting or caring for loved ones – old or young; Teaching or nurturing children; Creating art, music, dance, theatre, entertainment; Working in struggling regions in and around our homes where not everyone has access to even the most basic of needs; Preserving the rapidly diminishing environment; Reading or writing for pleasure or personal growth; Preventative health care; Character-building for your kids, your team, yourself; Building community connections; Developing a passion and nurturing a hobby; Becoming involved in local government.
These are activities of a normal life, rich with community, kindness, balance. Sure there are parts of jobs that can be automated such as using an automated text message system to confirm appointments, but core skills of those who work in and around a community remain current. You can’t automate creativity, empathy and love.