Posts Tagged "automation"

Thanks, Robots! Now These Four Non-Tech Job Skills Are In Demand

Posted on February 26th, 2018 by The Learning Factor

Automation isn’t a simple struggle between people and technology, with the two sides competing for jobs. The more we rely on robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, the clearer it’s become just how much we need social scientists and humanities experts–not the reverse.


These four skills in particular are all unique to us humans, and will arguably rise in value in the coming years, as more and more companies realize they need the best of both worlds to unleash the potential from both humans and machines.


AI and machine learning are extremely useful for solving straightforward, predictable problems and finding patterns no human would ever be able to spot in big data pools. But they’re less helpful in sussing out issues where it’s not a given what the problem actually consists of.


Say a patient gradually stops taking her medication, and an algorithm picks up on that fall-off early on. That’s great, but you still need a human being to ask why and contextualize the reasons–with a full understanding of what it means to live with chronic illness. For instance, is the patient simply forgetting to take her medication, or actively choosing not to? Is there an alternative remedy that suits the patient’s priorities and lifestyle?

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The more we rely on AI and machine learning, the more work we need social scientists and humanities experts to do.

How Automation Will Change Work, Purpose, and Meaning

Posted on January 15th, 2018 by The Learning Factor

The vast majority of humans throughout history worked because they had to. Many found comfort, value, and meaning in their efforts, but some defined work as a necessity to be avoided if possible. For centuries, elites in societies from Europe to Asia aspired to absolution from gainful employment. Aristotle defined a “man in freedom” as the pinnacle of human existence, an individual freed of any concern for the necessities of life and with nearly complete personal agency. (Tellingly, he did not define wealthy merchants as free to the extent that their minds were pre-occupied with acquisition.)


The promise of AI and automation raises new questions about the role of work in our lives. Most of us will remain focused for decades to come on activities of physical or financial production, but as technology provides services and goods at ever-lower cost, human beings will be compelled to discover new roles — roles that aren’t necessarily tied to how we conceive of work today.

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We’ll have to find new ways to define ourselves.

21 Future Jobs the Robots Are Actually Creating

Posted on December 11th, 2017 by The Learning Factor

According to an Oxford University analysis, close to half of all jobs will be taken over by robots in the next 25 years. No wonder the press is full of handwringing about how workers will adjust and the best way to prepare the next generation for this A.I.-filled future.


But not everyone is alarmed about the prospect of radical change in the labor market. After all, this has happened before (for instance, when mechanization replaced the vast majority of farmers) and it turned out OK. Plus, a lot of today’s jobs are soul-crushingly boring and repetitive. Losing them just might be a blessing. 


Among these optimists are IT service company Cognizant. In a recent report (hat tip to Business Insider for the pointer), the consultancy notes that while creative destruction has always been with us, so has reinvention. Sure, robots will take jobs away, but they’ll also create new ones.


What will these new gigs look like exactly? The report imagines detailed job ads for 21 future careers that Cognizant thinks may emerge in the next 10 years.

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Yes, A.I. will destroy tons of jobs, but it will create tons too. Like these.

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