As the world moves swiftly towards significant amounts of artificial intelligence (AI) and Automation, there are numerous articles and studies predicting that many of our jobs will disappear. Some argue 40% (including the White House 2016 study), while others argue as many as 80% of the jobs will disappear over time. Still other argue that like past technological advances, these new technologies will spur a huge growth in new jobs that we cant even imagine yet. Regardless of any of those outcomes, here are a few ideas to best protect your employment power in the near term:
- Look at your process, the things that you and your colleagues do. Examine them for the things that make your job easier and harder. Identify areas that can be improved upon. IDENTIFY SHORTCOMINGS
- Do your own research for new technologies that can enhance your work place and find a way to introduce them FIND SOLUTIONS
- Ask for education on cutting edge technologies regularly BE THE PROBLEM SOLVER
- Become the OWNER of the technology if your work situation allows for that BECOME CAPITAL
#1 IDENTIFY SHORTCOMINGS — In the work place, be the person who is seeking better ways to get things done. Do it constructively, not negatively. Ask key questions of any process. Is this fast and efficient? Are the results accurate enough? Are their ways to automate manual procedures? Is there a way to reduce the cost of this process? If you can identify the shortcomings to any process, then you are able to understand where to look for improvements. The employee who is able identifying these challenges is always valuable to the owners of the company and less likely to be replaced.
#2 FIND SOLUTIONS — once a problem has been identified by you or others, actively seek to solve the problem. Spend some extra time scouring the web for solutions. Talk with people outside of your business and industry about the problem you are looking to solve. Many times similar problems exist elsewhere and may have already been solved. Or occasionally a process elsewhere can be adapted to your industry to solve your problem. The point however is to actively engage and FIX the problem.
#3 BE THE PROBLEM SOLVER — If you find a solution, look to implement them. If you need education to do so, ask to get it. Become the advocate for the fix to the problem and convince people to implement. Become the expert on the “fix”. Any employee who seeks to expand their knowledge and become an expert in new technologies will always be relevant to a dynamic organization. If you combine that with successful implementation of fixes for problem, then you will be a valuable employee in any organization.
#4 BECOME CAPITAL — One final, longer-term answer is to become Capital, become the owner of the AI & Automation. Here is what I mean. As I was thinking about job replacement by AI & Automation, it struck me that independent contractors, like plumbers and electricians may take some time to replace “themselves” with automation. In fact it may be a generational thing, as the plumber ages, he sees his nearing retirement and begins to save for the “new PLUMBER 2.0 from General Electric Robotics” that appears to be able to replicate his work, allowing him to become the “owner” of the business. Since the plumber is the one investing in the robot, he is Capital. Capital will be one of the last roles in the capitalist economy to be replaced by AI & Automation , because somebody has to buy and implement the automation. At least until we turn over the keys to the global economic model to Artificial General Intelligence.
Other than #4, which requires saving money. The first three ideas are about energy, time and effort. These are resources that we all have access to, even if they are in limited supply.. Only you can determine how much energy, time and effort to put into this process. But I am certain that if you invest energy, time and effort into these process, you will find yourself successful on the job and certainly more difficult to replace with AI & Automation.