Intelligent robots that can do our job? Always new research suggests that the answer to this question is positive, if not today, it would be very soon.
It can be described that “technological unemployment” is an increasingly significant factor in framing the growing number of people of working age who cannot find employment.
In his recent book “Humans Are Underrated,” Geoff Colvin states that artificial intelligence robots are increasingly being used to perform repetitive operations, which were considered until recently to be impossible to accomplish except through human intervention.
Operations like translating texts in other languages, load and empty a dishwasher, cook a hamburger, analyzing thousands of documents for a lawsuit are added to other tasks so that in the future, even robots will be able to accomplish.
When the truck manufacturer Daimler’s autonomous driving will become operational and begin to travel the streets of half the world, it is estimated that nearly 3 million jobs in the US alone could be in danger. The same argument can be made for Siri, Google Now, Cortana and other virtual assistants that with future improvements and a more widespread distribution, they may cancel up to 3 million jobs in the administrative sector.
The board of Colvin, faced with this scenario in disturbing effects, you wonder not so much what the technology is not able to do, but what a man should do. In short, we must continue to cultivate the unique characteristics of the human being such as empathy, collaboration and the ability to solve problems.
Since World War II, it was decided to set the US education colleges and high schools on the concept of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), instead focusing less on disciplines such as writing, history, music, and other liberal arts. If this setting has created an effective working class and prepared on the technical side, it has also trained people in which communication skills were far too undervalued.
It is important because, in future, companies no longer and only seek people with excellent technical skills, but also employees who are able to build human relationships, gain the trust of customers and colleagues, and solve problems collaboratively. That’s why IT executives will have to change the way in which to educate and hire IT staff.
You will have to start with empathy, a cognitive attribution that can be taught and there are companies, such as MindTools and Empathy Training, which help workers to understand the feelings and needs of others and to channel it right the will to help.
This approach is especially crucial in the medical field, but also when it comes to IT with the ability to be patient with those who struggle to understand and use a new technology and to help and overcome the biggest obstacles.
The second council that Colvin suggests is to rely on a so-called “executive coach” who can help workers overcome problems, fears, and weaknesses. Some people need help to talk to the press or interact with customers, while others, perhaps with an excellent technical preparation behind him, unable to get along with colleagues, especially if they have little technical knowledge.
A coach of this type can then teach simple “soft skills” such as talking of this and that, look into the eyes of the person with whom you are talking or doing simple questions to gain the sympathy and attention of the interlocutor. All skills will enhance not only personal interactions but also professional relationships.
As last advice Colvin insists on including even the IT staff people from artistic humanities and not just technological. The people can come out of STEM kind educational experience certainly as it has the skills necessary to solve problems with logic and rationality using scientific methods.
But, today there are so many new technologies and knowledge branches that it becomes impossible for anyone to know everything about everything. It is in this scenario that anyone who has a background different from the STEM can become decisive in making the right decisions and to solve particular problems.