The future of work and the skills required in the era of AI
“How will AI change the future of work?” is a question that reverberates across industries, as the integration of artificial intelligence promises to transform tasks, workflows, and even job roles.
In addition to AI’s effects on employment, productivity, and economic growth, nowadays’ scientific debate also focuses on the consequences. These debates entail a more reasonable question: is an AI-driven workforce directly threatening human performance?
In this article, we’ll discuss whether automation and job disruption are directly linked, how will AI change the job market, and why adaptability is key for career success.
Emphasizing Soft Skills
AI is often an umbrella term encompassing multiple technologies, including machine learning (ML), deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing (NLP).
Despite artificial intelligence in the workplace has made remarkable strides in mimicking human behaviors and cognitive functions, replicating emotional intelligence remains challenging. Human emotional intelligence is deeply rooted in empathy, context, and complex social interactions that involve understanding nuances, non-verbal cues, and cultural subtleties.
Given the foregoing circumstances, the growing importance of skills for an AI future can be highlighted for the following reasons:
- Complex problem solving. With AI handling routine, repetitive tasks, an out-of-the-box approach to task accomplishment is vital for tackling intricate, non-typical challenges and devising innovative solutions.
- Human-AI collaboration. Creative thinking and AI’s unconventional ideas establish harmonious collaboration, fostering fresh ideas and discerning evaluation of AI-generated insights.
- Adapting to ambiguity. Creativity tackles uncertainty amid data influx, while critical thinking in an AI world assesses diverse sources for well-founded decisions.
AI can process and generate emotional responses. However, it still lacks the intrinsic understanding and depth of human emotions stemming from our intricate physiological makeup, making replicating true emotional intelligence a complex endeavor.
Lifelong Learning and Upskilling
According to McKinsey Global Institute research, by 2030, anticipated occupational changes could impact 75M to 375M workers (3-14% of the global workforce). These diverse projections from tech and business sectors reveal the uncertainty in predicting labor market shifts, making it challenging to accurately foresee job losses.
Researchers at the start-up company OpenAI teamed up with scientists from the University of Pennsylvania to determine which jobs ChatGPT has the greatest impact on. According to the study, people in these professions should be prepared for the fact that AI can take over at least some of their previous tasks:
The evolving job market with AI led to shifts in job requirements and skill demands. As human-AI interfaces reshape industries, even the most experienced professionals need upskilling for career advancement.
Continuous learning in the AI era became imperative in sustainable career development by enabling individuals to acquire new skills, stay attuned to evolving trends, and cultivate a growth mindset. This proactive approach not only equips individuals to embrace emerging opportunities but also ensures their resilience in a rapidly changing job landscape, fostering longevity and success in their careers.
To find unique points of growth to master both AI and career resilience, one might reflect upon:
- Which activities elicit your most profound joy and ultimate contentment?
- Where do realms of thought, action, and connection intersect?
- How can these threads seamlessly intertwine with your present or prospective pursuits?
As highlighted by the Harvard Business Review, the upskilling strategy of adapting to AI-enabled roles involves a twofold approach:
Evaluate and gauge skill sets: This process unveils the contexts in which individuals truly thrive, the passions that ignite their enthusiasm, and the proficiencies that propel them toward excellence.
Cultivate competitive proficiencies: Staying attuned to emerging job trends and their corresponding skill prerequisites equips professionals with the foresight needed to maintain an up-to-date resume and a competitive edge in the dynamic job landscape.
Harnessing AI Collaboration
The human mind is the intelligence that humans possess. It is responsible for our thoughts, feelings, memories, and actions. AI is a machine that can think and learn like a human.
Humans have brains capable of intelligent thinking and making decisions. AI consists of systems that can think and learn like humans. AI has been used in many fields to help us automate tasks or processes, for example:
- Customer support. Companies like Zendesk employ AI-powered chatbots to handle routine customer inquiries, providing instant responses and freeing human agents to focus on complex issues. AI-enhanced productivity streamlines support processes and enhances overall customer satisfaction.
- Document processing. ABBYY’s AI-driven OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology efficiently converts scanned documents into editable formats, automating data entry tasks that would otherwise be time-consuming and error-prone.
- Email management. AI tools like SaneBox and Clean Email use algorithms to categorize and prioritize emails, reducing inbox clutter and helping users focus on important messages, ultimately boosting productivity in managing email communication.
These examples sound impressive and inspire the world with the future of work with AI. However, a research department of the investment bank Goldman Sachs examined what this development could mean for the job market in concrete terms — and found that the promised capabilities of the so-called generative AI “could lead to significant disruptions in the job market.” Their conclusions sound disappointing:
- Two-thirds of current jobs are exposed to some level of AI automation.
- Up to 25% of existing work will be replaced by AI.
Despite these assumptions, Potsdam computer science professor Christoph Meinel sees a serious obstacle to the widespread breakthrough of AI in the working world. Enormous computing capacities and huge amounts of energy represent it.
Meinel also sees enormous challenges when it comes to data protection. He warns that anyone trying out the latest artificial intelligence applications on the Internet should be careful about disclosing their sensitive data.
As you can see, finding the balance in human-AI partnerships generates a lot of discussions. In this regard, many companies have theoretical knowledge of the use of AI, but there are no practical approaches. Moreover, due to the lack of visibility, many things could go wrong during AI implementation, as employees may not know why the AI is performing poorly.
As a bespoke software development company with targeted experience, Lightpoint can help you utilize AI to achieve measurable and long-term business success.
In-Demand Jobs: How will AI change the job market
Future skills and AI integration are becoming paramount for businesses aiming to thrive in the evolving technological landscape, ensuring they can harness the full potential of advanced automation and human capabilities.
Adapting to the AI era goes hand in hand with never-before-seen career opportunities. Those who showcase strong problem-solving understanding are sought after for their adaptability and are well-positioned to seize leadership in the emerging industry. Check out the new in-demand jobs related to AI management and leadership.
AI Cloud Architect
In the age of generative AI, there will be a particular demand for specialists in developing and optimizing cloud architectures that can support Gen-AI workloads. The reason is that there is already a blatant lack of cloud architects — and the errors that arise in this area due to an under-skilling are taking their toll.
If you want to work in this field in the future, you should understand:
- how a cloud works
- which techniques do generative AI services use (data, knowledge models, APIs, etc.)
- how AI systems become safe, high-performance, and scalable
Companies need state-of-the-art software development services provided by experienced cloud architects who understand how AI systems work and how to ensure optimal interaction with existing cloud systems.
AI Data Engineer
AI and data experts manage and process large data sets to train AI-based models. Because the quality of AI systems stands and falls with data quality and accuracy, these experts implement data pipelines and optimize storage and data access.
For this position, you will need strong knowledge in the following areas:
- Data integration
- AI model training
- Data curation
- Data quality
- Data security and governance
AI Model Curator
In the future, these specialists will gain the most relevant career opportunities with AI models for specific applications. They should:
- have penetrated the AI landscape and be aware of the latest developments
- know the most helpful (third-party) tools in this area
- know how to optimize AI models
In this job role, the emphasis should lean towards operational business. However, skills that are likely not yet adequately available within the existing operations team will be necessary here.
The potential ethical implications of generative AI require responsible use of AI. That will be job of AI ethicists in the future. Their tasks will include, among others:
- recognize and eliminate possible bias
- address privacy concerns
- capture potential societal impacts of the combination of generative AI and cloud systems
This position could be in demand in various areas, especially non-technical ones. For example, knowledge such as business psychology can be an essential element here. Nevertheless, an in-depth understanding of the technology also remains mandatory in this job.
In the future, these experts will fine-tune the use of AI-driven tools. You will primarily collaborate with data scientists and subject matter experts to prepare the models for specific tasks and to optimize their performance and accuracy.
Of course, not everyone can easily gain skills for an AI future and react accordingly to fast-changing circumstances. However, time shows adaptable people are more likely to have these traits than people with trouble adapting. Problem-solving in the AI age is the same as many other things in life: the healthy middle way makes the difference.
Embracing the AI-Driven Future
Human intelligence possesses certain strengths that currently surpass the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI). One notable area is complex decision-making involving nuanced emotional and ethical considerations. Humans can weigh various moral dilemmas, cultural nuances, and emotional context to make ethical judgments that AI struggles with due to its lack of genuine emotions and consciousness. Additionally, creative endeavors like art, literature, and music often rely on the ability to think outside the box, draw from personal experiences — an area where human intuition and imagination excel.
However, human intelligence is not without limitations. Cognitive biases, subjective judgments, and the limitations of working memory can lead to errors in decision-making. Human intelligence also faces challenges in processing and making sense of vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, especially when compared to AI’s ability to handle massive datasets efficiently.
Conversely, AI has limitations of its own. While AI systems excel in repetitive tasks and data analysis, they often lack the emotional intelligence and understanding of context that humans naturally possess. AI’s decision-making can be seen as a “black box” problem, where it’s challenging to interpret how AI reaches certain conclusions, making it less transparent and potentially difficult to trust in critical decision-making scenarios.
Moreover, AI’s abilities are confined to the data it has been trained on, making it less adaptable to situations that deviate significantly from its training data. AI also lacks genuine creativity and intuition, often producing outputs based on patterns learned from data rather than true originality. In summary, human intelligence and AI each possess unique strengths and limitations, which underscores the potential for fruitful collaboration between the two domains.
Whether it’s for the better or not, we cannot currently make reliable statements on the employment effects of the future of work with AI. It has yet to be possible to foresee what technical possibilities AI holds or how the individual sectors will develop with their very heterogeneous prerequisites, opportunities, and requirements.
The range of applications for AI technologies is enormous and covers a lot of domains : health, transport, environment, finance, industrial production, military, corporate management, administration, etc. In these areas, many growing experts are thriving in the AI era.
Even though we can only imagine how AI will change the future of work, processes and structures will adapt accordingly.The exploration of the entire spectrum of possible applications of AI-enabled roles does not seem to have reached its peak yet, and in many companies, there is still a lack of relevant skills. If you would like to explore opportunities for cooperation and learn how to best utilize artificial intelligence in the workplace, schedule a consultation with a Lightpoint expert today!