According to the estimates of the World Economic Forum (WEF), by 2022, 58% of tasks carried out in businesses will be done by humans, and nearly 42% by machines. But what tasks are we talking about? What will be the role of humans in businesses then? What are the skills where AI and humans reinforce and complement each other?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a driving force in digital transformation, altering how businesses operate, make decisions, and interact with customers. While technical skills remain crucial in this field, the success of AI in businesses also depends on human skills, commonly referred to as “soft skills.” Soft skills encompass a set of behavioral and social skills that facilitate communication, collaboration, innovation, and adaptation in an ever-evolving work environment.
In this article, we will explore the essential soft skills for working with artificial intelligence and examine their significance in the professional context. Companies that invest in developing these skills among their employees will gain a competitive advantage to make the most of AI and tackle emerging challenges.
Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
As we know, emotional intelligence (EI) and empathy are not strengths of AI to date. Hence, these skills need to be provided by humans who possess them. Emotional intelligence and empathy are crucial soft skills for effective teamwork, with or without AI. AI professionals, and humans in general, need to interact with colleagues, clients, and users with varying levels of knowledge. Understanding their emotions, concerns, and needs is essential. Empathy aids in designing solutions that truly address user problems and fosters a culture of collaboration and support among team members.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
In the field of AI, the ability for critical thinking and problem solving is paramount. Professionals must be capable of breaking down complex problems into sub-problems, analyzing data, and interpreting results to make informed decisions. Critical thinking helps avoid biases and potential errors in AI systems while ensuring proposed solutions adhere to ethical and quality standards.
Flexibility and Adaptability
AI is evolving rapidly, with new technological advancements and ever-changing machine learning methods. AI professionals need to be flexible and adaptable to these changes. This entails being open to continuous learning, questioning existing approaches, and exploring new ideas. Individuals capable of quickly adapting to new technologies and market demands will have a significant competitive advantage.
Clear and Convincing Communication
Effectively conveying complex ideas is crucial in the AI field, whether explaining technical concepts to non-technical individuals, presenting results to stakeholders, or collaborating with multidisciplinary teams. Clear and convincing communication is a major asset for building trusted relationships with clients and stakeholders, as well as promoting efficient collaboration among teams.
Team Spirit and Collaboration
AI is rarely the work of a single individual; it often requires close collaboration among teams with diverse skills. AI professionals need to be capable of working effectively in teams, sharing knowledge, listening to others’ ideas, and resolving conflicts constructively. A strong team spirit fosters innovation, fills skill gaps, and leads to stronger outcomes.
Creativity and Innovative Thinking
Even with rapid AI advancements, human creativity remains invaluable. The ability for innovative and creative thinking allows AI professionals to find novel solutions to complex problems, envision new AI applications, and seize emerging market opportunities. Creativity combined with AI’s technical skills is a powerful competitive advantage.
Ethics and Responsibility
Artificial intelligence raises important ethical questions regarding privacy protection, algorithm transparency, potentially discriminatory biases, and employment consequences. AI professionals need to be aware of these issues and demonstrate responsibility in designing, developing, and using AI systems. Embracing strong ethical practices builds user and stakeholder trust in AI and ensures a positive impact on society.
In the field of artificial intelligence, soft skills are as crucial as technical skills. Developing emotional intelligence, critical thinking, empathy, flexibility, and other soft skills empowers AI professionals to collaborate, innovate, and succeed in a rapidly changing environment. Companies that invest in developing these skills among their employees will gain a competitive edge, while ensuring that AI is used ethically and responsibly for the betterment of society as a whole.
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