We hear a lot about the workplace of the future and the take-over of artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, in a 60-Minutes interview, AI pioneer Kai-Fu Lee, estimates that within the next 15 years, 40% of jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence.
While the thought of technology replacing humans in the job market sounds like a real threat, the good news is that as artificial intelligence goes up, so does the need and demand for emotional intelligence. This is because AI with all of its grand potential, cannot demonstrate emotion or other skills that require human connection.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Defined
Before I go any further, allow me to level set on key terms. Artificial intelligence basically means getting a computer to mimic human behavior in some way. As an example, a “chatbot” responding to a customer service inquiry on a website or an AI-powered personal assistant that schedules meetings. Emotional intelligence on the other hand is a set of emotional, social and relational skills that guides the way we perceive, understand and express ourselves; connect with others; manage interpersonal exchange; cope with challenges; and apply emotional information in an effective, meaningful way.
The Future Demand for Emotional Intelligence in a World of AI
Below are examples of how improving your emotional intelligence will help you in the AI driven workplace of the future:
- AI can replace many mundane, repetitive tasks. As a result, the more complex tasks will be left for humans to complete. Think of the example of the customer service “chatbot”. When a customer completes this automated process and still has questions, those questions are likely more complicated. The customer is also likely to be frustrated by the time they reach a live human. This will require individuals with empathy, creativity and conflict management skills. All skills encompassed through strong emotional intelligence.
- An effective workforce will always demand strong leaders. This includes both formal and informal leaders. Imagine the thought of a robot giving a speech to inspire and fire-up the team. Not likely. The workplace of the future then will continue to have a strong reliance on individuals with strong communication, influence, leadership, mentoring and coaching skills. All skills encompassed through strong emotional intelligence.
What You Can Do Today to Take Advantage of This Strategic Threat
Each year I complete what is known as a SWOT Analysis. This is a strategic tool generally used by businesses, but it can also be applied for personal development. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT Analysis can inform you on how best to position yourself for the future. Your goal in completing the analysis is to think through how you can leverage your strengths, develop your weaknesses, take advantage of your opportunities and position yourself against potential threats.
If you are looking to be strategic about your future, consider the development of your emotional intelligence to address the threat of AI. This is an investment in the future of your career and your value in the future job market. These are critical skills today and will become even more critical in the future.
While we are focusing on the job market of the future, it’s important to be aware that the development of the skills associated with emotional intelligence takes time. For that reason, it’s important to act now. You want to start engaging in experiences now that will help you to be fully developed as the job market changes.
Contact Walker Training and Consulting today to complete your Emotional Intelligence assessment. We will provide you with a comprehensive 32- page report, a 1:1 coaching session to interpret your results and an action plan to help you to continue to utilize your strengths and develop your weaknesses.
We’d Like to Hear from You
How has your job or industry been impacted by AI and what does the future hold for you? Please comment to share your experiences.