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AI is coming for how we work. It’s time to embrace it.

Knowledge workers are not task managers; why AI is good for our jobs.

At this point, the headlines might be starting to scare you: “AI is coming for our jobs!,” “Artificial Intelligence May Be Coming For Your Job,” or “AI could replace equivalent of 300 million jobs,” The steady drumbeat of the AI revolution has become so persistent, it almost seems cliche. 

But all of the fearmongering aside, when you actually read the reports it’s not all doom and gloom. According to The World Economic Forum’s “Future Of Jobs Report,” while we may see a loss of upwards of 85 million jobs through 2025 because of AI, over that same period we can expect to see 97 million new jobs thanks to AI. 

The benefits of an influx of AI

Technological shifts always have the potential to change the work landscape and the ways we do our job, but instead of fearing this change, it’s in our best interest to embrace it. Now is the time to not only change what we do, but also how we do it. 

What I mean by this is twofold: people who are currently looking to break into a different field have innovative, fresh opportunities to choose from, while people who love what they do have powerful new tools to help them do their job even better than before.

How do I know? Consider these two statistics:

  • New jobs will be created (for humans): Not only has technology already created more occupational types that have never before existed, a report from The Institute For The Future predicts that upwards of 85% of the jobs that will exist as soon as 2030 have hardly begun to be created yet.
  • Old professions rarely go entirely extinct: A study from 2016 that looks back 60 years on US Census data shows that while many had feared automation would take our jobs, only one eliminated one occupation entirely: the elevator attendant. 

How knowledge worker roles will shift

For knowledge workers in particular, AI has the potential to shift our day-to-day work lives for the better. Ever since the pandemic we’ve become more mired in the “work about work” instead of being able to focus on the work that really matters. The endless stream of requests in chat, the overflowing inboxes, and never ending meeting cycles have become so insidious that people now spend more than 85% of their time doing admin work—answering emails, instant messaging, and in meetings. 

This isn’t useful work, it’s busywork. AI has the power to change all of that by clearing the tedious tasks off of our plate so that we can do the meaningful work that machines can’t do: the creative and human-centric work.

Program Managers

At my last big tech job we had lots of Program Managers who helped align teams towards hitting project goals and deadlines. They would take impeccable meeting notes, create next steps, and follow-ups. Soon, AI will be able to take on many of these tasks, but AI will not take over the human element of the job. 

Program managers sit across multiple cross functional streams of work, and can provide valuable insight on aligning to higher level goals, and identify dependencies and roadblocks across different teams at an organization. By using AI tools to perform the more menial tasks, they will be able to be more strategic. 

Engineering Roles

Many articles proclaim that AI is coming for software engineering jobs, but this isn’t an accurate assessment. The role of engineering will certainly shift, but in a good way. Many leaders theorize that there will be less coding from scratch, and a typical day to day will transition to more of an editing role. For example, inputting product directionality into AI and then tweaking the code results it generated.

Regardless of AI, wasn’t this “code editor” role already in play? Over the last 10 years the rise of code frameworks, templates, and industry standard behaviors mean that virtually no developer starts with an empty file. First it was leveraging frameworks like jQuery and node.js, and now you can take your pick: Rails, Ember, React, you name it. There is no shortage of ways to get started from pre-written code. The difference is that now instead of using Stack Overflow, engineers have access to copilots that help with coding in real time.

Marketing Teams

The art of marketing can never be replaced by AI. Long considered the “nodes” of an organization, marketers are the link between product and sales teams. In addition to developing content, product, and brand voice (oh my!), they talk directly to users, and can provide product direction strategy. In short, marketers already have way too much going on. A little help from robots is much-welcomed, and when used correctly will only amplify marketing productivity.

For example, despite being on the hook for landing pages, interactive campaigns, and all user-facing messaging and visuals, marketers have long lamented the lack of engineering or design support. If marketers get access to no-code editor tools that use AI to make landing pages, then leverage AI graphics generators to make supporting images for blog posts or display ads, it will only seek to multiply their output, not detract. Marketers will be left to do the job they were hired for, and use the skill set that differentiates them: storytelling. 

Now reach out and grasp that robotic hand

The fact is, humans will always be messy, complex, emotional, and irrational beings. It’s part of our magic. When project goals go a little haywire, a great Program Manager can step in and talk things through in a way that AI is far from ever being capable of. Being able to focus on the human connections and relationships that enable successful teams to thrive will be the valuable skill set, not rote note taking which can be better done by the robots.

By using AI as another tool in our toolkit instead of seeing it as a disruptive nuisance, designers will be able to quickly create mockups and explore more ideas, developers will have an extra assist in coding, and marketers will be able to hone their storytelling craft. Across all functions in an organization, AI serves to deepen and enhance the creativity behind a project, by freeing us from the monotony that eats away at our day.

Now is a time to embrace the opportunity for AI to allow us to focus more on our passions; to bring more meaning into what we create by fusing the humanities into the technology we build. To drop the monotonous day to day routines that work has become, and find not only ourselves but the humanity that separates us from the machines.

At Hoop we are building a first in its class tool that will let AI capture all of your busywork so that you can focus on the work that really matters. Are you ready to turn hours wasted into more productive time? Join the waitlist now.

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