Millions of educated knowledge workers—writers, paralegals, assistants, medical technicians—are threatened by accelerating advances in artificial intelligence. Shall we give up the race with machines?
Using a trans-disciplinary lens to solve complex problems will become the norm. Google uses anthropologists to understand how users think and behave. Anthropologists are used to making sense of the full sweep of complex cultures. Google’s coders work with psychologists to understand the emotions that their fonts create among users. Being able to understand others is an integral part of how work will get done. Routine, repetitive work will all get done with machines. So what skills will matter more in future?
When the AI based virtual assistant in our smart phone helps us choose a restaurant or send a text message we enjoy the moment. We don’t want to turn the clock back to a time when we did not have AI based systems recommending to us what we never knew we wanted to buy. The machine is watching us and learning each move we make. Instead of augmenting brawn, machines are now augmenting our cognitive abilities. Understanding emotions of self and others will be the next frontier. When people learn to work with machines the possibilities are endless. But is there an invisible price that we forget?
Computers and automation saw the rise of the “knowledge worker”. A knowledge worker was a person whose job involved handling or using information. With computers increasingly taking over such jobs, those who are skilled in working with people will become more prized. The future belongs to people who are more emotionally intelligent. This may be the era of the “relationship worker” – someone who can handle complex human relationships.
Could a tsunami be nature’s way of warning us about massive changes? Look at the timing of the four tsunamis. 1782 and 1883 roughly coincide with the first and second industrial revolutions. Work shifted from agriculture to manufacturing as factories became the main sources of employment. This saw the rise of the blue collared workforce.
The film opens with three girls Minal, Falak and Andrea (played by Tapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea ) taking a cab back home after a rock concert. The story is set in Delhi. There is tension in the air. It is very late. They need to get home safe. The cab driver narrowly misses hitting an approaching vehicle. One of girls asks the driver to stop the cab and […]
When I was looking for campus placement as a graduating student of a B-School, it was the employers’ market. The employers were few and far between. We would all line up and listen to them tell us that they were looking for people who would stay with them for a lifetime. The pre-placement talks were a great opportunity to get noticed by the employer by asking sharp insightful questions. During one such talk, one of my classmates did the unthinkable. He asked the potential employer why the salary offered was so low. That executive adjusted his tie and threw a condescending look at us and said, “We offer careers and not jobs.” How that even qualified as an answer to my friend’s question still beats me. But that line hit home. That phrase seems to have been tattooed in the hearts of several people of my vintage. Many of them have now become employers.
I know parents who roll up their eyes in horror when their kid wants to pursue a Liberal Arts degree in college. Does Liberal Arts fall short of that promise or is it the hottest degree for the future? Why are some companies falling over each other to hire Liberal Arts majors? Do they know something we don’t?