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Handelszeitung – Race against the machine

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over more and more activities in the workplace and the corona crisis is only serving to intensify the trend. Nevertheless, human versatility will ultimately ensure that robots don’t steal your job, Egon Zehnder consultant, Christian Wohlgensinger, tells the German language Swiss-weekly newspaper, Handelszeitung.

As AI develops, machines will be able to complete increasingly sophisticated activities, as well as the simple, repetitive tasks they currently perform. Humans, however, have versatility on their side – machines can learn to do one thing perfectly but that’s it.

That’s why, to keep the robots at bay, it’s best to take a so-called hybrid job and combine something technical with something creative or social. The trend towards hybrid jobs is growing, technology expert Wohlgensinger tells the newspaper. “There is increasing demand for people who can handle technical issues and at the same time add soft skills, such as creativity and communication skills.” For example, technical knowledge has become indispensable for marketing directors, while companies are keen to place technology experts at the head of HR - unthinkable even a few years’ ago.

So how can executives best AI-proof their careers? Firstly, it’s important to top up on technical knowledge. The team of the future will comprise “man plus machine” and only those who can understand and take advantage of AI will be seen as fit. That’s why it sensible for a CEO to take a programming course to familiarize him- or herself with the basics of Machine Learning, even if this isn’t relevant to his or her daily job. CEOs should plan on studying for an engineering degree after gaining an MBA, for example.

Possibly the best way to render yourself immune to the effects of AI is to take on a more enterprising role within your company, advises Wohlgensinger. “Stay open to change and go where the action is.” In other words, don’t just monitor and control, but also work close to the product to stay ahead in the future race against the machine.

 

„Wie verhindere ich, dass Roboter meinen Job übernehmen?“, von Constantin Gillies in der Schweizer Handelszeitung vom 11.08.2020 unter: https://www.handelszeitung.ch/beruf/wie-verhindere-ich-dass-roboter-meinen-job-ubernehmen

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