Artificial intelligence is a scary prospect for many people. They worry about losing their jobs or being taken over by robot overlords like in the movies. They may not know what to say about these fears, but there is one thing about which they should be certain: as long as workers embrace this change and adapt to this new way of operation, they should be able to keep their jobs and prosper in the workplace.
Many people are so worried about the potential rise of intelligent machines that they fail to see that it is already happening all around them. Multiple industries have already incorporated automation into their operations because these machines can be significantly more cost-effective and efficient. And while this understandably comes with a great deal of paranoia about losing jobs and being replaced by robots, it is really just a matter of workers learning different skills.
The shift in labor that is being experienced across the field is not to eliminate the human worker entirely, but rather, to supplement their productivity with intelligent machines. Even if a task is being completed by a robot, there typically needs to be someone overseeing the process, if not operating the machine outright. And it’s not just unskilled labor that is being affected by this shift – skilled occupations like surgeons are also seeing a turn towards automation. Because this shift affects all levels of skill, there needs to be a focus on adjusting training and education altogether.
Workers can expect this automation revolution to occur in as little as fifteen years, and so it is time for employees to get ahead of the curve and learn those new skills so that they are still an essential part of their organization’s function even when their traditional role has already been filled by an intelligent machine. The goal should not be to stall the automation revolution, but rather to embrace it, and find the ways in which each one of us can supplement this progress with our own unique contributions.
The density of robots used in businesses, particularly in the financial services sector has doubled globally over the past five years. Intelligent machines are going from being tools that are used to make the job better to the tools that are being used to get the work done in the first place. But the installation of these robots is not as simple as plugging them in and putting them to work. It requires an extensive design and implementation process that means the machines can’t replace a human worker outright – at least not at first.
Workers shouldn’t expect this paradigm to shift overnight, but they should be prepared to embrace these changes as they develop. Should they stay on top of these trends, workers don’t need to be worried about becoming obsolete. Many businesses are still dependent on a human element of some sort, just perhaps not in the way that we traditionally expected them to be.
Scott Heric is the co-founder of Unionly, a digital transaction platform built for unions to engage and organize members. He helped develop sales and account management for Avvo, growing from 30 to 500 people over 7 years. After Avvo, Scott took a Chief of Staff role at Snap Advance, which at the time was part of a company called Snap Mobile Inc. For over 4 years he oversaw development of the product, marketing, sales, and account management, leading to the company being the leading digital fundraising platform in higher education. Having worked on the concept for Unionly for over 3 years and after being acquired in January of 2020, Scott began to really think about making Unionly a reality and in April of 2020, that dream came true.