Generative artificial intelligence is here and won’t be going away anytime soon, notes AI expert Hassan Taher. AI is already impacting many industries or will soon. While many have rushed to embrace these new technologies, others remain hesitant about it, and still more are fearful of it. Many are concerned that they could be downsized by new forms of automation as AI improves. Since the technology will likely be with us from now on, AI expert and author Hassan Taher says that professionals in the technology realm should especially be thinking of ways to adapt and innovate as they navigate their careers in the AI era.
Fears of automation replacing workers are common, but not always founded. Take ATMs as an example. Many thought when the technology was new that it was going to replace the need for bank tellers. That never happened. ATMs provided a convenient new way for customers to withdraw or deposit funds any time of day. At the same time, they reduced these fairly mundane tasks from the tellers’ workday. It was a win-win because it made customers happy and made banks more efficient. Generative AI has the potential to impact managerial and professional careers in similar ways.
The Case for Going All In With AI
Rakesh Kochhar from Pew Research has found that jobs with intense AI usage tend to be in better-paying industries. These AI interactions benefit those with college educations and solid analytical skills. Kochhar has found that professionals in these sectors are generally optimistic about how AI improves their workflow. According to Kochhar, almost one out of every three information and technology workers finds that generative AI enhances their productivity and efficiency. Similarly, human resources departments at large companies are finding that the use of AI and data analytics is helping them to make better hiring decisions.
The ethical use of AI, notes Hassan Taher, involves using it to enhance the work that employees and managers are already doing, rather than the wholesale replacement of workers with generative AI. Artificial intelligence has some incredible uses, but it is not going to make humans in the workplace obsolete.
ChatGPT’s warts have been well documented. Generative AI programs can only reiterate information based on data that’s already been input by inherently flawed humans. Complex decision-making, intuition, and creative ideas still require humans, at least during the current iteration of AI. Score one for humankind.
Still, Hassan Taher recommends that corporate leaders focus more heavily on nurturing talent in relation to AI. Enhancing employees’ abilities to leverage AI can lead to improved efficiencies across the board. Employees should also seek out new training opportunities to stay competitive in the AI era. Both managers and employees who remain stagnant while others become more proficient in the use of AI are likely to be passed over by competitors who adapt. Vittorio Cretella, chief information officer of Procter & Gamble, notes that it is exceedingly important for corporate leaders to harmonize human intuition with machine intelligence. This will allow managers to foster a workplace where employees are constantly improving their skill sets and efficiencies while utilizing practical AI applications.
As for employees, they need to understand that AI is going to impact their job, business or industry, if it hasn’t already, notes Taher. The AI era is likely to bring about revolutionary changes in the workplace, so employees should embrace these changes. Workers should also understand that generative AI can make them more efficient — and therefore more valuable to their employers. The output from generative AI software is far from perfect, but it is fast. This can greatly speed up the early stages of brainstorming, designing, and drafting projects.
AI is also likely to redefine skill development in the modern workplace. As AI continues to improve, new skills and education are going to be a requirement for most employees. Workers will need to adapt to lifelong learning as they adjust to these new and emerging technologies. Colleges and universities are already working to adapt their coursework to better prepare future employees for a workplace where AI is prevalent.
Cretella says human attributes like creativity, critical thinking, and curiosity will remain vital as we shift to this new paradigm in the workplace. He notes that the unique advantage of human workers is our knack for problem-solving. Before leaping into algorithmic solutions, employees and managers should first dissect a problem, pose questions, and look for underlying patterns. “It’s not just about technology,” says Cretella. “It’s the people steering it that induce change.”
Cretella firmly believes that the future belongs to business magnates who become AI-proficient. Hassan Taher adds that the success of employees and managers will come from adapting, understanding and collaborating with AI, rather than resisting its emergence.