What job skills are needed to thrive in the age of AI

Adaptability, data analysis and critical thinking will be essential for a successful career in the years to come

The World Robot Conference in Beijing. Machine learning, data analysis and critical thinking should be at the core of school curriculums. Getty
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I often have the most interesting conversations with my younger cousins.

I asked one of them last week about what she aspired to become when she grew up. She said by then, artificial intelligence would have taken over all kinds of jobs, so she would have a computer programme work for her.

What she said was quite interesting. As AI becomes more sophisticated, there is no doubt that a number of tasks that were once done by humans will be performed by this technology.

For instance, Interior AI is the first AI-powered interior design tool. People can drop an image of their space and the programme will transform it to a new style, depending on the user’s preference. This programme may affect the work of interior designers.

Other AI-powered tools such as Zoom IQ create an AI companion in virtual meetings that will help users to do everything – from answering emails to creating whiteboard sessions. This may affect personal assistants’ roles.

While the technology could cause job displacement in some tasks, I believe it creates opportunities in others. Those who are equipped with the necessary skills will thrive in the age of AI.

My mentor once advised me that resistance is the core of failure. He encouraged me to go with the flow instead.

As the world is changing rapidly, adaptability becomes a core skill for the workforce to keep up. Those who are willing to learn new skills and embrace technological advancements will have a competitive advantage.

While AI is taking over some tasks in the creative industry, it cannot replace human creativity.

AI can generate creative content but it cannot come up with original ideas. This is why creativity is an essential skill to have.

My work depends on creativity and I often enhance my creative skills by reading new book genres, engaging in new activities and, most importantly, allowing myself to fully unwind and recharge my creative batteries.

AI tools such as Google’s Bard and ChatGPT opened the doors to floods of data. Within seconds, users can have access to resources around a certain topic.

This helped cut down on hours of research. The availability of data at the tip of our fingers like never before means that data analysis and critical thinking skills become crucial.

After all, what is the point of having all this data if we cannot derive proper conclusions from it?

Whether it is identifying new business opportunities or optimising logistics, those who can make the data work for them will be essential in the workforce.

This takes us to the importance of technological literary. While more of us will depend on AI-powered tools to streamline tasks and simplify jobs, technological literacy will help people to use the tools more effectively.

There is no time like now to develop the skills needed in the age of AI.

Schools should offer master classes and courses that will help pupils develop these essential skills.

Machine learning, data analysis and critical thinking should be at the core of school curriculums.

Gary Vee on ChatGPT - Business Extra

Gary Vee on ChatGPT - Business Extra

Those in the workforce should take online courses, read books and articles, sign up to free email newsletters by AI experts, attend AI conferences and network with people in the industry.

Interacting with industry experts could help identify the skills needed and understand how AI is affecting different sectors.

Whether it is someone as young as my cousin or one looking for a career change, embracing these skills and adapting to the rapid changes in our lives will be pivotal for a successful career in the years to come.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications adviser based in Abu Dhabi.

Updated: June 12, 2023, 4:00 AM