The future is here. It’s time to rethink your position in the job market. It’s time to question your current career path, and consider if it would be wise to make a few changes. Bots and intelligent assistants / agents are on the rise, ready to disrupt and turn the job market on its head. Now, it has always been key in life to stay up-to-date, grow and develop yourself and your knowledge base. But now more than ever this is definitely true.
AI is expected to eliminate 6% of jobs by 2021, according to Forrester, and a further 47% is expected in the next two decades, according to a US Federal report. Those are current types of jobs, but the evolution will very likely create new types of jobs that we haven’t really been thinking about yet.
Now, this might all sound scary to you, but stay calm and don't worry too much. Yes, it's important that you always take steps to keep your own set of skills updated, but that doesn't mean that you'll suddenly go into long-term unemployment. New things are always coming around - just think of the steam engine. Many people thought that would be the end to their career, but quite the contrary it created a wide range of new types of jobs. Jobs you might never have heard of before, and jobs that are often a significant step stone to something better.
What this all means is simply that you need to keep yourself in the loop. You need to keep following the newest trends and tendencies in your market, and just generally beware that things are going to change. But remember, it's most likely not going to be the end of your career.
So, what is it?
What are bots and AI?
Modern bots are supported by artificial intelligence, AI. Bots are various more or less automated services, which are able to assist people and businesses in various different ways. These use artificial intelligence in order to understand natural language, like our everyday conversations, to interpret, remember and personalize information for you. Bots will be able to understand your current situation, and collaborate across the web to serve you with the best possible combination of answers.
For instance, a recipe bot could serve you with a selection of recipes based on your previous likes and preferences. Afterwards, your health bot could instantly analyze the options and suggest the best recipe for you today based on your health data, stemming from a fitness tracker, DNA-test, and so forth. A travel bot could track your flight ticket, suggest hotels in the area based on your previous choices, book it, and make sure there’s a cab ready for you when you arrive at the airport.
Artificial intelligence thus uses its experience based on what you’ve told it in the past, to turn a massive base of data into the best manageable results for you, personally. The same could be applied to industry bots in the business environment. This is very similar to how the human brain functions as well. AI uses an algorithm to predict the future, while humans use our intuition to predict the future. The algorithm is based on previous data, while the intuition is based on our previous experience in life.
So, what can I do?
Use your imagination. What could an intelligent machine possibly replace in your career situation in the coming years? Does your job mainly consist of calculative activities, or simple and very generic tasks? Those are some of the jobs to disappear first. The simpler and less creative, the earlier it will be able to replace by a bot.
Take this into consideration, and do some research on where your industry is heading. What’s the new and upcoming trends within your industry? Find some industry leaders, and listen carefully to what they’ve got to say. Now, look at your current situation, and see which possibilities you have in front of you. Could you expand your knowledge into a new area, eventually combine finance with technology, or similar examples that would match your career path and desires. You could even become a leader within your field, by being one of the first to combine your current career with AI.
This is not easy, and will take a lot of effort, but you could eventually take the leap and suddenly turn your situation upside down to become a leader instead of a follower. Become the person that your colleagues, and people across the industry will listen to and follow. This could potentially lead to new career opportunities for you in the future.
We should all take the time to do this simple, yet comprehensive, exercise every now and then. Nobody is safe in a time with intelligent machines. We’re all in the same boat. Some are just closer to the edge than others. Get up and move as close to the wheelhouse as possible. Use your imagination, be creative and open to new combinations and collaborations within and across industries. Innovation and disruption will happen eventually, it’s just a matter of whether you’ll be in charge or somebody else will.