Outsmarting Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence becomes more deeply embedded in our daily life will it outsmart us? Only if we let it.

“AI” – Artificial Intelligence is the concept of creating a machine that is smart enough to think and act like a human being. We’ve seen it on screen thanks to the intelligent mind of Steven Spielberg. It’s invading our homes every time we utter the word “Alexa” and a device does it’s best to respond to our command. And an ever increasing number of news articles point to the growing concern that AI may disrupt our employ-ability.

The reality is that Artificial Intelligence’s impact on jobs will be significant. But there will always be the need for intelligent human minds to write the code, fix the devices and envision where and how to implement it.

Consider every technological advance since the we started keeping track of history. The Guardian quotes a study of census results over more than 140 years in England and Wales. It reveals that the, “rise of machines has been a job creator rather than making working humans obsolete.

Our value is directly proportionate to our contribution.” That’s one of the oldest universal laws. And it still applies in the era of Artificial Intelligence.

The key question to ponder as you imagine your future is how to add value.

Here is a time tested method to future proof yourself. These three steps are things artificial intelligence can’t do, but your authentic human intelligence can.

1) Imagine what your world will look like 5, 10 and 15 years from now: Think about what you currently do and how that role might change. Zoom out and imagine the bigger picture. What challenges will the company you work for face as the world continues to evolve? What new opportunities might exist tomorrow that don’t exist today? Feed your mind with the latest reading and research, talk to your boss, to thought leaders, to your customers. Fill your brain with data, opinion and imagination.

2) Paint a vivid picture of what you see: An exercise I always recommend is to write yourself a letter from the future. Describe every aspect of your life in full detail and living color. Where will you live? How will you get from place to place? What might you be doing to add value? Describe everything from the color of the furniture to your exercise program. And focus in on a specific value proposition you think will be out there for you to take to the bank. Write your future job description, what you will do, how you will be evaluated and what you expect your compensation to be.

3) Begin now to act like the person you expect to become: Preparation for a world with artificial intelligence begins in the present. What skill sets will you need? What relationships will you develop? Invest a portion of every day getting your contribution engine ready to fire on all cylinders in the world you imagine. Start getting smarter and building your Rolodex of tomorrow today.

Every new idea was born in the mind of someone who existed in the past and could vividly imagine the future. Artificial intelligence can fill databases and even suggest courses of action. But only human beings can evaluate and act on them.

Dedicate yourself to these three steps and you will become more aware of opportunities that others will miss. Your goals will become clearer and the pathways to achieve them will appear. That fact that you are working now to understand how to make a difference tomorrow will catch the attention of others who are contemplating the same thing. An alliance may form that turns into your next job.

Two of my “Six Facts of Life” are these:

What we think about and who we associate with will determine our future.

Take a lesson from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People and Be Proactive about it. The reason that so many people resist change is that so few realize that it is inevitable.. and plan for it.

Experiment with the ideas in this message and you’ll be part of the lucky few who mix artificial intelligence with the power of a well ordered mind to create a purposeful future, no matter what the environment may be.

As Doc Brown wisely says in the closing moments of 1989’s Back to the Future III, “Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one”.