Will Robots Steal Your Jobs?

Will Robots steal your jobs? Maybe? There are some who are worried that robots will eventually become smarter than us and will eliminate us. Stephen Hawking is one of these. Then there are those who are simply worried that, only the best of the best will get work and everyone else will be forced to fend for themselves.
There are others who believe the contrary. All robots will be doing is helping humans do better jobs. And this fear-mongering has happened before. Aristotle is said to have been against books because he believed they would weaken the mind. Imagine that!
IBM’s Watson, an AI beat the popular quiz shoe, Double Jeopardy’s top two winners by a huge margin. It’s now been developed to help doctors with cures to diseases. Then there’s the software system that does this:
“Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7–6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Guerrero drove in two Angels runners. He went 2–4 at the plate.
“When it comes down to honoring Nick Adenhart, and what happened in April in Anaheim, yes, it probably was the biggest hit [of my career],” Guerrero said. “Because I’m dedicating that to a former teammate, a guy that passed away.”
Guerrero has been good at the plate all season, especially in day games. During day games Guerrero has a .794 OPS [on-base plus slugging]. He has hit five home runs and driven in 13 runners in 26 games in day games.”
Yes, software can write their own stories now, without any human input.
I’m not here to make you worry. I’m a worrier and I know when it becomes pointless. Worrying isn’t going to stop robots from getting smarter. Though one thing worthy of note is that a software has achieved what college students after spending 1000s of dollars are still unable to do. Write well. And just in case you’re curious, the software is called “StatsMonkey.”
My message is simple. Malcolm Gladwell’s thoughts on it involves 10,000 hours and Cal Newport wrote two books on it; Deep work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You.
It’s bad enough you have to compete with other humans, now it’s robots?
Robert Greene calls it Mastery. Work is divided into categories known as ‘specialist’ and ‘generalist.’ ‘Specialist’ involves being good at something in particular. Zeroing down at a particular skill and mastering it better than most. Generalist means being a jack of all trades, or being good at a lot of things in different fields. Most Generalists seem to have a focus problem and most specialists seem to be out of their depth at anything other than what they’re good at.
For a specialist imagine someone who’s good at writing code but can’t explain to investors why his software is worth a billion dollars. Or for a generalist imagine someone who manages people but can’t sit down and do the work of those he or she manages.
Many people argue that Generalists will rule the future. But I’m more on Robert Greene’s side. It takes someone who both has the capacity to be an expert and yet can operate in different industries.
So enough of this talk of “Generalist” and “Specialist”. What does it mean and how does it help?
It simply means in addition to being good at something, have skills that make what you’re good at more valuable. If you’re a writer, you may have to be a good marketer as well. If you’re good at programming you might have to learn a bit of business to know how to run and grow a company.
Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist and an engineer.
In simple terms you don’t learn so you can work. In Rich Dad terms, you work to learn and keep learning. Mark Cuban renowned billionaire says he reads everyday so that some twenty-something year old kid doesn’t become better than him. If he builds himself every day, why shouldn’t you?
Challenge yourself, learn a new skill. And when you feel comfortable enough, move on and learn another skill. Learn, master, migrate and Repeat.
And lastly, for those in our parts of the world, who think Africa is safe, it’s only a matter of time. Phones came to Africa, Internet did and so did Drones. And even if Africa is the last safe haven for jobs, don’t you think some foreigners will come down to fight with you for those jobs?
This is purely speculation but one thing I’m certain of is…
Your career will be infinitely more rewarding if you continue to acquire new skills. You’ll be…so good they can’t ignore you.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s