November 5, 2018

Future of work & AI: from working with our hands, working with our brain to working with our heart

The future of work is going to be nothing like the past of work. In the past, everyone worked with their hands. Today, most of us work with our brain. Soon, we’re going to be working with our hearts. Let me explain what I mean by that. As Artificial Intelligence improves and moves into more and more spaces previously occupied by human work, it’s important to think about where people will have a place in the world of work. In a workplace shaped by AI and software that can do effortlessly the kinds of tasks it used to take people hundreds of hours to do, we will need to find new kinds of ways for people to be useful.

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This is actually no reason to despair or worry. In fact, there’s good reason to be optimistic. I was trained as an economist, and a basic law of economics is that “once something becomes more scarce, it becomes more valuable.” This is straightforward enough, but what does it have to do with AI? Well, once companies become AI first and start deploying it more and more, Human Interaction in the customer experience will become more scarce. This will make the human interface more scarce and so more valuable. The human interface will become a way for companies to differentiate themselves and improve service delivery. 

In this new world of work, people should focus their efforts in places where technology does not play a role. This means places where you can get to know the customer, make the customer feel appreciated and more human. Computers are excellent in creating convenience and in building a fantastic rational customer relation. That leaves an open space to add an emotional layer into the customer relation. When 90% of your customer interactions are going to be automated, it’s up to you to make sure that the remaining 10% of the customer experience is filled with the kind of empathy, passion and creativity that can only come from another person in the interaction. And so to get back to where I started, this is part of the broader trend across history in work. Originally, we were always working with our hands, to then we worked with our minds, and soon, we’ll be working with our hearts. As machines and artificial intelligence are not good in this field. Technology can’t replace the human touch, so it has the potential to become a true differentiator.

Check out this video to hear more about this topic: