Decoding Tomorrow:
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Foresights and ideas that expand minds and inspire a change of heart.

The Aftermath of the Virus: Jobs of the Future

04 Jun 2020

Although it’s a popular view to fear robots and artificial intelligence (AI) taking over all human jobs, leaving us obsolete, I believe that in fact, the opposite can be true - but it requires our most human & humane inputs, and cognitive shifts.

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Advancements in AI mean that jobs that focus on soft skills, such as creative thinking, will be further opened up for humans to take on to an extent that has never been seen or enabled before. Why? Because in the past we had to excel at skills (left brained skills) which robots can now do better than us. The new differentiator - right brained capabilities - aren’t able to be learnt (to the same degree or as quickly as left brained skills) by robots yet and so will fall to humans to fulfil. These will countenance the traditional government wisdom which places its misplaced hopes on STEM skills - skills which are being replicated exponentially by machines. We should turn away from the old belief that STEM is the only way to future-proof your kids, yourself and your (personal, career, or business) brand. This does not mean we have to throw out the analogue baby with the digital bathwater, but rather that we bring left-brained STEM thinking together with our right-brained thinking—empathy, creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation, ethics and emotional intelligence. These traits are directionally relevant for an age where AI will excel at left-brain thinking. Right brain thinking is a cognitive thinking style that AI will be slower to excel at.

The irony in all of this might be that artificial intelligence and machine learning actually give us as humans the opportunity to tap into our true creative genius and have freedom from menial, robotic labour. We can finally take the robot out of the human!

This will give us the possibility to pursue our true humanity and creativity—creativity that the traditional education system has historically ignored, and creativity we will need during and after the Corona recovery. I love the above image of Mercedes Benz, one of our clients, who totally understands the benefits of a whole brained approach to business and branding their products in a way that uses the best of both the left and right brain. What do you think - what emergent jobs of the future will over-index in what type of cognitive processes and enable humans to thrive?

If you want to dig a bit deeper into the Jobs & Skills of the Future check out our report on the Future of Work with ING - a trend report we co-wrote and researched that uncovers key workplace trends and in-demand jobs and skills to help Australians prepare for – and create – a better future.

ING & Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson report on the Future of Work

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