Artificial Intelligence (AI) may take your job, you either evolve or die.
The future is here, and trust me it doesn’t look promising – depending on where you’re looking at it from.
Businesses are retrenching massively because they cannot continue to run the business the same way they were when a dollar was 120 naira and fuel was 86 naira per litre.
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Wow. That seems so long ago.
Things have changed and one cardinal rule of business is; evolve or die. Most companies, for the most part, appear to have figured out a way to keep going – minimise expense across board. That means getting one person to do the job of three people.
And in other cases, in other places, simply bring in robots.
Word is that some company invested billions of dollars in Google’s self-driving cars already – without even a prototype available for public viewing as of yet. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, two of the most foremost minds on this planet keep fretting over an Artificial Intelligence (AI) apocalypse; seems the future evidenced in the Matrix series of films might be closer than we think.
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But that’s not my concern yet. I’m of the opinion that humanity does face an apocalypse that will be caused by robots or Artificial Intelligence (AI) – just not in the way we think. Robots, in due time, will make humanity extinct by simply making them irrelevant.
You do not agree? Think about it like this: Google is building self-driving cars. And those will eventually prove to be safer than human drivers because they have everything down to a science – after all, it’s all algorithms. And then, pilots. Then engineering. Soon you’ll walk into a bank and where a cashier used to be you’ll see an ATM machine that can cater to whatever issue you have.
It’s just a matter of time.
My point? These developments are inevitable. It is progress and nothing can stand in its way. However, you can protect yourself with knowledge and the understanding that everything is eventual. How do you protect your job from a machine?
Not to cast anyone down (we all are necessary at whatever we do), but it’s pretty obvious whose job is more secure – the man at the counter counting, receiving, and handing out cash compared to the man inside the MD office. What do you do when suddenly you wake up and your position is taking over by a machine ten times more efficient than and half as expensive as you?
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I heard a story not too long ago about a banker couple. They worked in different banks but, unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to save them as the husband got sacked a week after his wife. They had three kids to care for.
With a single stroke of a pen, several lives are put in jeopardy.
How do you remain relevant then, in the face of progress? It’s time to invest in soft skills and self-development. One of my bosses made it a point to yell at us frequently about investing in learning things beyond what our jobs called for or required. “No knowledge is irrelevant”, he liked to say. “Just because it’s not feeding you now doesn’t mean it won’t later.”
Self-evaluation is also necessary for progress and growth. You should be able to sit yourself down at regular intervals and ask: “What can I do now that I couldn’t six months ago? Am I learning anything new? What else can I learn to make me doubly efficient at my job?” These are questions that do nothing but propel you from where you are to where you should be, relevant questions that help keep a hungry mind forever feeding. Complacency is death, and in a world more competitive than ever, excuses won’t do anymore.
One has to keep growing else run the risk of waking up one day and resuming at his job, only to find that everything has changed, and with one step of advancement he has become as irrelevant as payphones or cybercafés.
Such is life. Evolve or die.
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