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There can be no doubt that the machines are coming. In the years ahead, artificial intelligence will have an impact on most sectors and inevitably replace many human workers.

Indeed, over just the last few weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented migration to remote working for millions of people – a shift that has only been made possible by today’s digital communication technology. In addition to Zoom meetings and TV appearances being literally phoned in, AI has proved its worth in some cases by helping to fill the business function gaps left by temporarily absent staff.

What they’re predicting?

Many commentators are predicting that the professional world will never be the same again. Employers who previously derided home working or AI support are suddenly seeing the feasibility, even the benefits, of a remote workforce and ‘machine colleagues’.

Going to far

However, I’m not convinced that AI, digital solutions and geographically distant teams will displace face-to-face interaction in the way some suggest. On the contrary, I believe that the demand for ‘human’ skills will grow rapidly in the coming years. After a long period of enforced distance, I think that the world will come to hold in-person encounters and the skills that only a human being can supply in much higher regard.

How AI might be best used

For example, the ability to solve problems that are outside the scope of an algorithm will be greatly valued. Humans can understand nuance, think outside of strict guidelines and find solutions that may not be accessible to even the most sophisticated AI programmes.

Collaborating and connecting

Teamwork is even more crucial to success than ever, particularly in the current climate. Humans are social animals by nature and collaboration is essential not only to the smooth operation of a team, but also to finding people who can plug a technical or creative skills gap when required.

Storytelling model

Finally, marketing trends are moving more towards the ‘storytelling’ model, in which consumers are invited to become part of a brand’s inspiring story and vice versa. This is another primal human skill that is unlikely to be usurped by machines any time soon!

Why effective communication is crucial

The common denominator with these key skills is effective communication, whether that’s in person or in a virtual meeting. If this doesn’t come to you naturally, don’t worry – as with most other skills, it can be learned. Machines may be learning at a startling pace, but we can still teach them a thing or two.


Originally published on Linkedin – April 14 2020


14th April 2020

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