Job Seekers: Are You Ready for the AI Work World?

March 19th, 2018 by ifi-admin

Photo of a computer CPU with an illustration of a human brain on it, illustrating the rising prevalence of Artificial Intelligence in employee workflows.Artificial Intelligence (AI) was once the realm of sci-fi, but today many professionals increasingly find aspects of their work life infused with AI and Machine Learning. Rapid advances in AI disciplines such as facial recognition, natural language understanding and computer vision, are increasingly in use in a wide range of tasks, performing fraud detection, market analysis and medical diagnosis.

How future-proof is your career?

Recent research by McKinsey & Co predicts that as many as one-third of American workers may need to find new lines of work by 2030 thanks to the impact of artificial intelligence and automation on the labor market.

The report estimates that in the majority of existing occupations at least 30 percent of constituent work activities could be automated. On the brighter side, AI will also create new occupations that do not exist today.

As the late Stephen Hawking once claimed, AI will be “either the best or worst thing” for humanity.

Inventing Ourselves Out of Work?

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a Paris-based world research institution, has hosted symposiums and published research in an effort to analyze the impact of AI on global labor markets.

In a session focused on jobs and skills, the organization noted that AI matches or exceeds human performance in a growing number of domains, and several tasks traditionally performed by humans have already been taken over by robots and algorithms. The exponential growth of the capabilities and applicability of AI has raised concerns about job automation and the possibility of massive technological unemployment, but also about its downward impact on wages of workers who are most at risk of being displaced. Employees who perform redundant tasks are at greatest risk, while highly skilled employees adept at problem solving are comparatively more protected.

Keep Your Skills Fresh

According to Forbes author Daniel Marlin, workers with developed and adaptable problem-solving and decision-making skills can insulate themselves from the immediate threat of redundancy, and aim to work alongside AI in more senior management positions over the long term. Workers who adopt smart tools quickly and understand how to work effectively with predictive algorithms and other forms of machine learning will be most in demand.

Adaptation to AI may require some advanced education or at least spending more time on activities that require creativity, high-level cognitive capabilities and other skills relatively hard to automate. The key is to be proactive and constantly increase your capability with new technologies, whether those training opportunities are available through your current employer or whether you have to seek them out independently.

How to Adapt…and Excel

Kay Durkin, founder of technical recruitment firm Phoenix Partners, advises candidates to remember that while AI may cause transformation of roles in the workplace, it also offers opportunity for growth.

“Candidates can adapt – and excel – by leveraging their humanity in their career trajectory. For example, cultivate skills that are hard to automate, such as people skills, creativity, and problem-solving capability. Embrace new opportunities to work with AI and Machine Learning to stay tech savvy. Be prepared to highlight these aspects of your skill set to prospective employers to stay on the leading edge. And seek out a corporate culture where such skills are valued.”

Are you ready to make a career move to increase your “AI-Q”? Talk to us at Phoenix Partners.

Phoenix Partners, Inc. • 638 Overhill Road • Suite 200 • Ardmore, PA 19003 • Phone: (610) 649-1909
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