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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 July 3, 2020

    30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

    1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

    Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

    2. Focus on your breath

    Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

    3. Get organized and purge old items

    A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

    4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

    Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

    5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

    Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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    6. Smile more

    Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

    7. Don’t worry about the future

    As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

    8. Eat real food

    The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

    9. Choose being happy over being right

    Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

    10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

    Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

    11. Make use of filtering features on social media

    You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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    12. Get comfortable with silence

    When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

    13. Listen to understand, not to respond

    So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

    14. Put your troubles in a bubble

    Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

    15. Speak more slowly

    Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

    16. Don’t procrastinate

    Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

    17. Buy a coloring book

    Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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    18. Prioritize yourself

    You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

    19. Forgive others

    Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

    20. Check your expectations

    Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

    21. Engage in active play

    Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

    22. Stop criticizing yourself

    The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

    23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

    Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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    24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

    Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

    25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

    Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

    26. Manage your money

    Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

    27. Stop trying to control everything

    Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

    28. Practice affirmations

    Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

    29. Get up before sunrise

    Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

    30. Be yourself

    Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

    Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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