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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

    Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony Habits and Motivation: Master Both for Big Results How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive Stop Waiting For Your Dream Job and Go Ask For It

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    1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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