There has been loads of coverage recently about the rise of AI. The general view is machine learning will eventually take over vast swathes of jobs on a global scale and many wondering "will AI take my job?". A site I found called willrobotstakemyjob.com made me smile and sent a shiver down my spine all at once. Go ahead, drop in your job title and see how "doomed" you might be. Heads up - if you're an accountant, perhaps best not.
This kind of hysteria could run away with you if you let it. The thing is, I don't buy it. Well, not fully at least. Now, as someone who leads on Digital Innovation in a 200-year-old business, I'm fully aware of the power of computerisation and the algorithms we rely on every day to power the tech we love. But these are simply tools. Used wisely they can provide wonderful breakthroughs that make meaningful differences to human life.
"Value isn't created by technology alone. This is where our opportunity lies."
It still takes a human to apply that wisdom. To find that creative spark. It took at least one human to conceive the iPhone and lots of other humans to use the technology to make it a reality. People make those connections that can form something truly unique. In this context, the machine and its algorithms are merely tools in our creative process. Value isn't created by technology alone. This is where our opportunity lies.
As I busied myself this morning, I caught a promo for my favourite radio station here in the UK. It provides an analogy that sums that opportunity up well. As I listened it struck me that there is wisdom here we can all apply to our own projects, big or small. To the creative posture we take in our work and home life and to the changes we seek to make for ourselves and others.
People are always going to make unexpected, weird connections and be more surprising and complicated than you would imagine." - Lauren Lavern
Listen to the promo:
A brief transcript:
Steve Lamacq "I'm quite addicted to it... searching for new bands... looking for music I like. Not just music I like but that you think other people will like as well."
Mary Anne Hobbs "Music is one of the greatest human expressions...and a human can always bring context passion, and a greater understanding."
Marc Riley "When was the last time an algorithm welled up when it played the perfect record?"
Lauren Lavern "It's really important to listen to what other people are playing... people are always going to make unexpected, weird connections and be more surprising and complicated than you would imagine."
If we're hoping to thrive in the tech-driven age, then we each have an opportunity - maybe even a responsibility - to find the weird connections and new contexts that deliver something remarkable. We all have the opportunity to do work that matters. To interpret. Translate. To create whatever it is that moves people using the vast numbers of free tools at our disposal - in our own unique way. The machines will rise, but through applying context, passion and a deeper understanding our creativity can rise higher
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