Five skills every employee needs in the age of AI
"We should all be looking for ways to harness our unique human capabilities and cultivate soft skills that will become all the more important for the future of work," writes Hisham Abdulhalim PhD., Intuit Israel AI and Data Chief of Staff
Modern civilization runs on software. The availability of data in nearly every aspect of life coupled with the sophistication of artificial intelligence techniques have increased the opportunities for improving both public and private life. Given this reality, technical skills and analytical skills are very important in the age of AI, big data, and automation - but this doesn't mean that we should ignore the non-technical side. Human work contains skills in areas that robots cannot answer upon in an acceptable way, if at all.
Therefore, as the nature of the work develops and as the machines maximize their relevance in the workforce, I believe the following five soft skills are integral to employees’ success. The bottom line, human work is going to become even more, well, human.
Hisham Abdulhalim PhD., Intuit Israel AI and Data Chief of Staff. Photo: Eyal Toag.
Creativity: Robots and machines can do many things, but they struggle to compete with humans when it comes to our ability to create, imagine, invent and dream. With all the new technology coming to us, the workplaces of the future will continue to require innovative ways of thinking - making creative thinking and human creativity an important asset.
Emotional Intelligence: Also known as EQ (as in, Emotional IQ), emotional intelligence describes a person's ability to be aware, control, and express his/her emotions and be aware of the emotions of others. So when we talk about someone who empathizes and works well with others, we describe someone with a high EQ. Given that machines (for now) can not easily restore humans' ability to connect with other humans, it makes sense that those with a high EQ would have an even greater demand in the workplace.
Ethical Intelligence: When faced with an ethical dilemma, a professional must be able to make rational and well-thought-out decisions. Ethical intelligence is the ability to make ethical decisions when faced with moral challenges. We face such challenges every day in our working lives. Sometimes we are unaware of the moral subtext of our actions, but in-depth, sometimes social interactions have moral implications. Are all our actions likable, or are some of them gently undermining one of our colleagues? Such scenarios are difficult for machines to answer upon, and so this skill becomes even more important for humans to possess.
Judgment and Decision Making: We already know that computers are better able to process information from the human brain, but in the end, humans are responsible for making critical business decisions in the organization. It is human beings who have to take into account the consequences of their decisions in terms of the business and the people employed. Thus, decision-making skills will remain important, but there is no doubt that the nature of human decision-making will evolve - specifically, technology will take care of lower and more routine decisions, leaving humans to focus on higher, strategic, and more complex decisions.
Cultural Diversity and Intelligence: Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is a critical part of setting oneself apart in today’s globalized world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and innovation. Workplaces are becoming more diverse and open, so employees will need to be able to respect, understand and adapt to others who may have different ways of perceiving the world. This will of course improve the way people communicate within the company, but I think it will also make the services and products of the business more comprehensive.
There is no doubt that AI is going to impact businesses of all shapes and sizes across all domains. We need to embrace AI. And with humans being an incredible force, far more powerful and sophisticated than any AI in existence, we should all be looking for ways to harness our unique human capabilities and cultivate these softer skills – skills that will become all the more important for the future of work.
Hisham Abdulhalim PhD. is the Intuit Israel AI and Data Chief of Staff.