Can you keep up with AI? Here are 3 skills job hunters need today

Apr 15, 2024

4 mins

Can you keep up with AI? Here are 3 skills job hunters need today

Ten years ago, AI (Artificial Intelligence) was merely the topic of science fiction films exploring what a distant future could look like with man-made machines being able to “think” and perform extraordinary tasks, far beyond human capabilities. Today, AI is becoming a part of everyday life whether you realize it or not. From the personalized ads you see when scrolling online to the digital system scanning your resume when you apply for a job, you may be interacting with artificial intelligence more frequently than you expect. While advancements in AI technology have been constantly evolving, public perception and use of AI began to boom in the past few years with the launch of chatbots like ChatGPT and Gemini which took the internet by storm.

While nearly every aspect of life is now digitized, AI still marks a revolutionary step forward in the way we learn, work, and live. Sure, it has opened a door to endless opportunities, but there are also many ethical and socioeconomic concerns around when and how AI should be used. There are many pros and cons to using AI in the workplace, and you can bet that it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future. So, what can you do to upskill and stay relevant in an industry that’s integrating artificial intelligence?

What are the costs and benefits of AI?

It’s difficult to paint with a broad brush when it comes to defining AI or creating guidelines around its usage when it has such a broad scope. The potential benefits and risks of expanding our use of artificial intelligence are endless, but focusing on the ways in which AI can change the way we work is one of the most concrete ways to measure its value. Over the past twenty years, technology has revolutionized the modern workplace, digitizing countless time-consuming processes and streamlining the way we work. It allows us to be more productive, spend less time on arbitrary tasks, and increase our work-life balance.

Artificial intelligence is a jack of all trades, so to speak, and can perform a wide variety of complex tasks almost instantly. Naturally, the office is the first place that comes to mind when thinking of where you could benefit from using AI. So, what kind of things can it do? From marketing to accounting, it’s hard to think of a field where artificial intelligence isn’t useful. It can compile and analyze complex data sets in an instant, invent slogans, design logos, write articles, create code, and much more all with the click of a button.

However, there are downsides to consider before implementing AI into every aspect of our work. One of the largest fears for workers is potential job loss. What happens to industries like journalism, customer service, HR, and countless others whose work could, in theory, be done by AI? A recent survey found that 67% of business leaders plan to implement artificial intelligence this year, with 56% of American workers reporting they already use AI in their roles.

3 skills you need to stay ahead of AI

As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in many aspects of our working lives, it’s natural to feel uneasy or even threatened by its meteoric rise. The idea that the work you do could be done by a machine is less than reassuring, but it’s unlikely that AI is going to put workers out of a job anytime soon. Instead, think of AI as a new tool at your disposal. Rather than replacing workers, AI can be used to help them be more creative and productive at what they do.

Luckily, there are still a few areas where humans can outcompete AI. Many soft and hard skills are just part of being human, and nothing can replicate that. Skills-based hiring is already on the rise compared with traditional recruitment models, and AI’s influence will likely make your unique skills all the more valuable when it comes to landing a job. So, what skills will become increasingly important in a world with artificial intelligence, and how can you leverage them to use AI to the benefit of your career?

1. Creativity

While AI has seemingly endless capabilities, it hasn’t quite managed to create without human imagination. Although generative AI can conjure up essays, photos, music, and even video, it tends to be quite derivative, repetitive, and bland. This is because AI-generated content is more or less a repurposed amalgamation of texts, images, and videos that already exist somewhere online.

In short, without continued human creativity, artificial intelligence will have nothing to reference when creating content. Therefore, honing your creativity is a great way to develop a skill that will never go out of style.

2. Research & fact-checking

Another major pitfall of artificial intelligence is its reliability. When generative AI regurgitates anything man-made, it will inherently pick up any misinformation, bias, and prejudice, as it lacks the human ability to think critically about information. The tendency for artificial intelligence to produce incorrect or misleading information is known as “hallucination”.

AI is not all-knowing or infallible, so it’s unlikely that it will be able to create content without errors anytime soon. That’s why the ability to do follow-up research and fact-check AI-generated content and data is a great skill to develop. While there may come a time when AI is doing most of the legwork when it comes to work, it’s highly unlikely that there will be no need for humans to review and verify the work it produces.

3. Strategic thinking and project management

AI is a powerful tool with a great deal of potential, but for the time being, it’s still just a tool. Artificial intelligence can perform many tasks in many different fields, but it essentially only functions on a small-scale level. People, on the other hand, can see the bigger picture around what they do, and how small tasks can be part of executing a larger goal.

Skills like strategic thinking, project management, and consulting are already highly prized in the job market, and these will only become more valuable as AI finds its niche in the workplace. Technology may be able to perform one-off demands with fascinating efficiency, but when it comes to large projects, building timelines, and achieving goals on a larger scale, a human touch is still needed.

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