How To Stay Relevant in an AI-Dominated World

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Prompt by Dennis Kriel generated by Midjourney

In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems such as ChatGPT and Bard are poised to revolutionize a multitude of sectors, including healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing. This surge in AI technology, like all exponential advancements, is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s exhilarating to observe how AI is enhancing society, from groundbreaking scientific and medical discoveries to the simple management of our daily schedules. On the other hand, it’s intimidating to contemplate the social and personal implications, particularly the impact on our careers. As AI continues to disrupt traditional roles, it’s imperative that we cultivate new skills to set ourselves apart. But which skills should we focus on? How can we leverage our unique human capabilities to stay relevant in an AI-dominated world?

Understanding AI

AI operates on the foundation of algorithms and models, which are essentially sets of rules or instructions that the AI follows to analyze data. These algorithms and models are designed to handle massive volumes of data, sifting through information at a speed and scale that far surpasses human capabilities. This ability to process and analyze large amounts of data is one of the key strengths of AI, enabling it to uncover patterns and relationships that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Once the AI has analyzed the data, it uses the insights gained to identify patterns and relationships. These patterns are not just statistical correlations; they can represent complex relationships and trends within the data. For instance, an AI might identify a pattern in customer behavior that indicates a preference for a certain product feature, or it might discover a link between certain health indicators and the likelihood of developing a specific condition. These patterns and relationships form the basis for the AI’s predictions and decision-making capabilities.

After identifying patterns and relationships in the data, the AI then applies these insights to new data. This is where the predictive power of AI comes into play. By using the patterns it has identified, the AI can make predictions about future events or outcomes. For instance, it might predict future customer behavior based on past patterns, or it could forecast market trends based on historical data. This predictive capability is incredibly valuable across a wide range of industries, from healthcare and finance to marketing and logistics.

The Impact of AI on Operational and Thinking Jobs

This technique is transforming industries and the operational workforce at an unprecedented pace. Autonomous self-driving trucks have already compelled over 2,000 truck drivers in Europe to seek alternative employment, while AI-enabled vehicle production lines led to the loss of half a million jobs last year at a single car manufacturer. However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. As AI rapidly disrupts operational-type jobs, more thinking-type jobs, such as doctors, investment consultants, and scientists, will be increasingly affected.

Thinking-type jobs typically follow a three-step workflow: gathering data, analyzing that data, and implementing a course of action. For example, doctors perform tests, interpret the results, and prescribe a treatment plan. Investment consultants gather and analyze client data to understand their risk tolerance, then devise an investment strategy. These roles command higher salaries due to their generic workflow capability. However, AI is swiftly surpassing this capability.

Prompt by Dennis Kriel generated by Midjourney

The Limitations of Human Capabilities

Thinking-type jobs often grapple with human biases and limitations. For instance, doctors cannot possibly stay fully updated on every new publication in their areas of expertise due to the sheer volume of new research. They tend to rely on a small number of personal experiences rather than the complete knowledge of their field. Similarly, management consultants’ insights are limited by the number of business restructures they have experienced throughout their careers.

AI, with its ability to process massive amounts of data, its immense computing power, and advanced algorithms, is already solving medical cases that have stumped doctors for decades. The general public is increasingly opting for superior-performing AI-managed funds over expensive consultant-managed ones. The value of traditional thinking jobs is being eroded.

The Importance of Emotional Quotient (EQ)

Despite the hype surrounding AI, it’s crucial to remember the emotional quotient (EQ) required to truly succeed in many of these industries. EQ is the ability to blend a human perspective of emotions, feelings, and experiences with curiosity into our thinking. Those who wish to remain relevant in their professions will need to focus on these EQ skills and capabilities that AI struggles to replicate.

AI may be able to diagnose terminal illnesses and recommend treatments more effectively than a doctor. However, it requires a doctor to sit with a patient, understand their life situation, and provide empathy and comfort during their diagnosis. Similarly, AI can analyze complex business problems and make recommendations to improve business performance. However, a CEO is still best suited to motivate a leadership team, navigate through complex political conditions, and identify talented individuals to lead change. Moreover, while AI can produce a thesis using explanatory or descriptive research techniques, it takes a student’s curiosity and personal experiences to generate novel ideas. EQ has been the spark that has ignited unique discoveries and theories throughout human history, from the invention of the wheel and the understanding of the laws of gravity, to the development of modern medicine.

The Future: EQ Over AI

As AI continues to provide faster and more accurate decision-making, and takes over operational duties and repetitive tasks in the workplace, EQ capabilities like empathy, social understanding, and curiosity will become the differentiators. Now, more than ever before, it is crucial for us to focus on refining humanity’s defining traits. We can stay ahead of the curve by prioritizing our EQ skills over cognitive skills to prepare for a future of work where we will be competing with AI. EQ remains an irreplaceable catalyst in scientific exploration and discovery. For better or worse, these EQ skills will become essential to anyone who wants to stay relevant in their field as AI proliferates.

Prompt by Dennis Kriel generated by Midjourney


In conclusion, the rise of AI is both an exciting and daunting prospect. While it’s true that AI is transforming industries and the workforce, it’s also true that the human element — our ability to empathize, understand, and be curious — remains a vital component that AI cannot replicate. As we navigate this new landscape, it’s crucial that we focus on developing these EQ skills. By doing so, we can ensure that we remain relevant and valuable in an AI-dominated world. The future may be uncertain, but one thing is clear: our unique human capabilities will continue to be our greatest asset.