Opinion
Artificial Intelligence

AI will help us lead more human-centric lives. Here's why

AI might allow us to focus on more creative tasks, just as fast food has increased appreciation of slow food cuisine.

AI might allow us to focus on more creative tasks, just as fast food has increased appreciation of slow food cuisine. Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Chief Innovation Officer, ManpowerGroup
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  • The AI revolution will free humans up for more creative and intellectually fulfilling activities.
  • Humans are more adept in tasks involving emotional intelligence, which will be increasingly prized.
  • We must understand how to work most productively alongside AI.

“Will ChatGPT take our jobs?” is often the very first question I’m asked by people searching for guidance on how artificial intelligence will impact our daily lives. Based on all the headlines we’re seeing about the proliferation of AI, in particular conversational chatbots and ChatGPT, the answer seems to catch some people by surprise: No … at least not yet and not in its current form.

Though nobody (including those who are so eager to predict it) has any data on the future, if past technological revolutions are of any guidance, we can expect to see short-term disruption and uncertainty, followed by subsequent improvements. Indeed, we should be excited about the potential benefits of this AI revolution, notably the prospect of freeing humans to deploy their brains on more creative and intellectually fulfilling activities. Importantly, the AI age is still in its infancy – the internet equivalent of “dial-up”; we haven’t reached the wifi phase yet.

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If you really want to think about how this might play out in the future, look to the rise of fast food. While you can make the argument about its impact on our collective health, you can’t argue about its efficiency. Indeed, the fast food industry has made it very easy for people to get cheap and tasty food without paying much, spending time cooking and even moving from the couch. At the same time, the fast food industry has not caused the downfall of the hospitality industry, or put Michelin-star chefs out of business. Quite the opposite: it created lots of demand for slow food, farm-to-table and the gourmet experience that you get with someone who puts their full skillset and creativity on display. In other words, the more machines evolve, the more we value the unique skills and abilities only humans bring to the table – even if it isn’t in a Michelin star restaurant.

ChatGPT, and more broadly AI, may well incentivize us to create and harness the intellectual equivalent of slow food; a healthier, more nutritious diet for our curiosity and hungry mind, rather than the quick fix we may get from fast food, even if most of the time we do consume fast food.

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IQ vs. EQ

We have to face one potentially harsh reality: AI will probably win the battle for IQ against humans. It may have already happened. But what AI cannot do involves the key components that comprise emotional intelligence. EQ – skills such as empathy, consideration, kindness, self-awareness, self-control and caring for others – will remain 100% human qualities. We’ll need to continue to cultivate them. There will be a lot of need for human and humane validation in an age in which so much of our time is spent interacting with machines.

Curiosity is a fundamental human trait that drives innovation and progress. It is the curiosity of the human mind that has led to remarkable discoveries and breakthroughs throughout history. As we embrace AI and immersive technologies, it is vital to encourage and nurture curiosity in ourselves and others. This includes asking questions, challenging assumptions, and seeking new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Curiosity allows us to explore the unknown, adapt to change, and continuously learn and grow.

Creativity is another essential human skill that sets us apart from machines. It is the ability to think imaginatively and come up with new ideas, solutions and perspectives. While AI can analyze data and generate outputs based on patterns, it lacks the creativity and originality that humans possess. People that showcase human ingenuity and the power of creativity in their use of AI have the opportunity to make their jobs and lives more interesting because they are automating parts that were very boring and very repetitive, finding it’s helping to make them more productive.

AI is not the enemy

It's important we don’t see AI, or any other emerging tech, including virtual and augmented reality, as a threat. There are many tasks across a multitude of jobs, including creative jobs, that are very repetitive, and we should relish the opportunity to outsource these – free up their time for more creative and intellectually sophisticated endeavors. After all, necessity is the mother of invention, and the record-breaking adoption levels of ChatGPT clearly highlight the human appetite for automating not just trivial, but also creative and intellectual tasks.

While concerns are warranted, we should not fear, but experiment, learn, adapt and decide how to use and not use this tool, as well as the next version and generation of tools. Instead of making this a contest between humans and machines, we should ask how we can upgrade ourselves and have a more efficient and productive life, but also better lives with the help of machines. AI is only as smart as they people who program and prompt it. There are ways AI can, has and will surpass us. But it’s just a tool that could also help us lead a more human-centric life.

AI is here to stay, and people are preparing for the change. During a recent poll on the ManpowerGroup LinkedIn page, we asked people which tech of the future they thought would most impact their career. Seventy-four per cent of respondents said AI tech, such as ChatGPT would have the biggest effect, followed by blockchain and the metaverse.

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Undoubtedly, AI and immersive technologies have the potential to revolutionize various aspects of our lives. From automating mundane and repetitive tasks to enhancing decision-making processes, these technologies offer significant benefits in terms of efficiency, productivity and convenience. It is essential to approach the adoption of AI with caution, but also an open mind. While these technologies offer immense potential, we must not lose sight of what makes us unique as humans: namely empathy, kindness and creativity.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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