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The Types of Jobs That Won’t Be Taken Over By Artificial Intelligence

The Types of Jobs That Won’t Be Taken Over By Artificial Intelligence

Your resume will probably look pretty quaint in five years. It’s not your fault. It’s just that your job and the responsibilities you hold now and have held in the past are rapidly becoming obsolete. Blame the machines.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, in the forms of software systems and computer-driven robotics is already taking on many American jobs, and will ultimately come after many more. In fact, the accounting and consulting firm PwC estimates that the machines will replace some 38 percent of U.S. jobs by 2030.

Another scary fact is, two years ago Google DeepMind developed an algorithm that allows machines to “learn” just as quickly as humans. AlphaGo is an AI computer program that plays the Chinese board game Go well enough to beat a professional player.  Your job might be targeted soon if it isn’t already.  But you can keep your career out of the cross-hairs.

Save Your Job Through “The Elon Musk Model”

Obviously AI won’t replace everyone.  If 38 percent of jobs are predicted to be lost, that means 62 percent will remain under human control (at least for the near future).  So what will save us from losing our career?

We can look toward the very forward-looking Elon Musk for answers. Musk is the South Africa-born inventor, innovator, entrepreneur and driving force behind PayPal, SpaceX, the Hyperloop and electric car pioneer Tesla, just to name a few creations of his fertile imagination.

By taking a closer look at the workforce behind just one of his companies, Tesla, we can see which jobs are likely to survive over the next several years — and which might not.

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Tesla, Inc. is not a traditional automaker.  The Tesla way is to get from concept to model quickly.  To fail fast and to go where others haven’t gone before.  Think of Tesla’s Musk as the Christopher Columbus of 21st century innovation.

Check out this job tier pyramid.

    It gives us a way of organizing and describing the tiers seen in the employment picture today. All of the jobs we currently hold can fall into one of these three categories.

    The Known Known

    This is the base tier of the pyramid because it describes the largest number of American jobs today.

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    At Tesla, or any automaker for that matter, this worker category includes those in manufacturing and assembly.  The process of making the parts and assembling vehicles out of them is a known set of steps.  It’s relatively predictive across all automotive platforms.  What we mean is that workers who do this sort of thing use processes that are largely familiar and consistent whether they’re making a Tesla Model S or a Hyundai Accent.

    This consistency of job performance is bad news when it comes to human employment.  Workers in this tier don’t have to bring much new knowledge to the workplace.  Robots and software can be easily “taught” to take on such predictable responsibilities.

    The Industrial Revolution brought on the first outcry against technology.  Workers of the day felt that the new machines were going to push them aside, but the truth was that the workers could be trained to run the machines.  Instead of replacing them, the new ways helped them work faster and easier.  And there was still plenty of manual labor.

    Today, it only takes a few human workers to operate and maintain a robotic assembly line.

    The Known Unknown

    Again focusing on Tesla, workers who hold jobs in the Known Unknown tier include business analysts and budget team members and the engineers and designers whose minds download what the assembly workers will put out.  They’re creatively addressing known challenges with unknown solutions.

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    Their tools are the computers that can’t (yet) do the work without them.  Their days’ responsibilities are variable and unpredictable.  They know what their challenges are, and what they’ll end up with, but they must figure out how to get there.

    Their jobs are safe.  For now.

    The Unknown Unknown

    We could also call this work category The Most Difficult Job in the World.  Why?  Because there’s no job description.  This is the top-of-the-pyramid tier that consumes Elon Musk’s time.  He constantly confronts unknown challenges with unknown solutions.

    There was no road map to affordable electric car production until Musk decided to build such a map and the road itself — and put his Model S on it.  Just like there was no business model for what became PayPal until he decided to start working on a digital payment platform.

    Make no mistake, this is a high-risk, high reward career path.  There are no case studies.  No mentors.  No fallback positions because there’s nowhere to fall.  Musk is a problem solver who’s highly adaptable and not afraid of trial and error.  Of failing or suffering expensive setbacks or going alone where no one has gone before him.

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    Your advantage if you’re on the Unknown Unknown job tier is that the machines aren’t a threat.  AI can’t get programmed to execute actions and activities that have never existed before they sprung from your mind.  You’re ahead of the game.  Ahead of the machines.

    Not forever.  Once you’ve done it, it can be copied.  Replicated by competitors human or digital.  Consider the iPhone.

    Until Steve Jobs comprehended a whole new vision of what a simple phone could be, and then set to work on it, there was no risk of replication. Now? Well, virtually any skilled technician, programmed machine can reverse engineer even the most innovative smartphone.

    What that means is that the challenge of taking your career into Unknown Unknow territory is that you must stay there and perform at that same high level. Innovation is constant.

    We’re Not All Elon Musks but we can all be better than machines

    Most of our minds won’t remain open to brilliant innovative pursuits like the talented inventor, but you can better protect your career.

    Start by honestly reflecting on your responsibilities and job performance. How valuable is your input? Are you a problem solver? Is your work predictive, its processes consistent? Is your workflow pattern easy to see, or is every day different, filled with new challenges?

    The best way to protect your career over the foreseeable future is to stay a step or two ahead of the machines. Get on or stay on a career path of creativity, innovation and self-direction.

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    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on September 12, 2019

    12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

    12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

    Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

    While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

    What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

    Here are 12 things to remember:

    1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

    The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

    However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

    We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

    Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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    2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

    You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

    Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

    Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

    3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

    Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

    Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

    4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

    Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

    No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

    5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

    Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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    Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

    6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

    Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

    Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

    Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

    7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

    Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

    Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

    And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

    8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

    When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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    Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

    9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

    Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

    Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

    Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

    10. Journal During This Time

    Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

    This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

    11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

    It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

    The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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    Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

    12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

    The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

    Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

    When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

    Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

    Final Thoughts

    Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

    Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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