AI IS COMING; IS YOUR JOB GOING?

#ArtificialIntelligence #AI #jobs #technology #thinking
Artificial intelligence is, well, artificial.
Machines don’t think for themselves, but they can piece together information recorded from different sources to make sentences, and do other things, that make sense.
Many of us decided to do what we do for a career thinking that no machine would ever replace us.
But technology and media companies are cutting some of the human brain power that made their products what they are. The suspicion is that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace those tasks in the not-too-distant future.
In the old days when search engines were created, they could categorize data from similar entities and show users who, or what, they were looking for. But, search engines could not describe what a company does. It led to differences of opinion on “search engine optimization,” in which many people, and companies, specialized.
Did you want your company to stand out from your competition, or did you want your company to be lumped in with your, perhaps, inferior competitors? If you wanted the former, your Web content had to explain why your company is better, or, at least, different from the rest.
If you used key words in your content to satisfy the search engines, did those words just make you like everyone else that touches your space?
Because AI gathers, would you rather have a thinking human rather than a gathering and assembling machine?
Make no mistake: the gathering and assembling machine, undoubtedly, will be very useful for some tasks, and save companies lots of money.
But if you are in the business of creativity, there will be no substitute for human thinking in many areas.
Like humans, machines will make mistakes. Like humans, machines can put their talents to use in nefarious ways.
Therefore, it takes humans to know when a machine is most useful, and when a human is most useful.
We have to be on guard for unintended consequences of AI. Presuming we all want AI to do only good things that benefit mankind, we have to guard against the evil it could do – unless our intentions are indeed evil.
Of course, AI does not need R&R, as humans do from time to time. AI can be employed 24/7, as most humans cannot.
In short, it will take human innovation to not only create the AI that will replace some humans, but it also will require human supervision to guard against its pitfalls.
Most humans can adapt to a changing workplace. The jobs we were hired for years ago turn into completely different jobs as companies evolve and change.
It will take humans to help AI adapt to changing workplaces. Some of us humans will learn that AI perhaps can adjust to changing workplaces and conditions more quickly than some humans can.
Humans will create AI. They will maintain AI. They will manage AI. Still, when AI really takes off, there will be fewer humans needed. With jobs going unfilled in today’s marketplace, that could turn out to be a good thing.
Peter

PAPER CEILINGS MEANT TO BE SHREDDED

#PaperCeiling #WorkQualifications #technology #CollegeDegrees
The TV ads call it the “Paper Ceiling.”
In a nutshell, it’s the elimination of some people for certain jobs because they don’t have the proper “paper” qualifications. These people may be perfectly capable of doing the jobs because of experience or other training. They just may not have the degree that the specifications require.
Now Georgia, and other states, are tackling this problem by trying to ease some of the paper qualifications for certain state jobs.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed the Georgia situation in her February 14, 2023, column.
As she writes, Microsoft founder Bill Gates never finished his degree at Harvard because his ideas were so time-sensitive that he had to act on them immediately.
With technology, timing is everything. If you wait too long to develop it, it could become obsolete before it’s even created. Or, a competitor will beat you to it.
But, as Downey writes, Gates is a big believer, and funder, of higher education.
The so-called paper ceiling has prompted a generation of leaders and influencers to place a high value on getting a college degree. In fact, statistics show generally that people with college degrees do better economically than those who don’t have one. We also hear stories of people who spent a lot on an education, only to get a job that didn’t require it.
Of course, education of any sort is never a waste.
Where the rub comes is ruling people out for certain jobs they are capable of doing, just because they lack the college degree.
The paper ceiling is a convenience for hiring managers. It allows them to sift and sort through piles of applications more easily by ruling out people quickly.
But college is not for everyone, particularly those who cannot immediately afford it. People have gone into extreme debt to get a degree. But, once they have it, they may, or may not, get the job they want. And, even if they do, they’ll likely spend a valuable chunk of adult life paying off that debt.
There are also many trades and other good-paying jobs that may require technical training, but not necessarily college. These jobs often are in high demand, and workers with those skills can be hard to find.
Some believe too many trade schools have been turned into computer schools, and there are too few venues to train electricians, plumbers and other skilled workers.
Though computers have infiltrated most modern machinery and appliances, there is still a great need for raw, old-school skills.
In short, if you are a hiring manager, don’t underestimate the skills of someone who may not be as well papered as you might like.
If you are a prospective employee, don’t hesitate to apply for a job you believe you can do even if you don’t have the paper credentials. You may have to sell yourself better in your application to overcome the lack of credentials.
Closed minds on either side may blur good potential.
Just as glass ceilings are meant to be shattered, paper ceilings are meant to be shredded.
Peter





FACTS, SCIENCE CAN BE PESKY; WE IGNORE THEM AT OUR PERIL

#facts #truth #science #InconvenientTruth
Who would have thought that facts – truth – and science would get such a bad name.
Most people like facts when they suit one’s preferred narrative. But, like the weather, facts can be inconvenient.
At one time, everyone celebrated scientists. They were considered the great minds of our society.
Now, some people not only don’t celebrate scientists when their research produces facts that they don’t like, but they criticize, even condemn them.
One can see a concerning pattern developing here. If facts are not facts, and real science is not considered truthful or acceptable, what’s the point of education?
Well, some of those who do not like some facts or science are trying to redo education so that students don’t learn those facts or science.
If students don’t learn what’s true, or are unable to properly discern truth or science, how productive will they be to society? How will their natural curiosity be changed? Will they be discouraged from being creative?
Creativity and curiosity are essential in all humans. To try to tamp that down in young students is doing them – and the world – a disservice.
Facts and science can be inconvenient, to which former U.S. Vice President Al Gore can attest. But the problems that knowledge, creativity and curiosity can solve will not go away.
If you live in a place in which people in power are trying to tamper with facts, science, creativity, curiosity and education, tell them you want all of those things emphasized in your schools.
Beliefs, faith and truth do not always match. Having faith is certainly laudable, but, if the truth contradicts what one believes via faith, reconcile those differences. Other generations have done that quite well.
If you have children, encourage them to be curious. Encourage them to be creative. Encourage them to want to change the world, if they don’t like it. Most of all, encourage them to do all they can to make the world a better place.
Certainly, one could argue that some people’s worlds don’t need changing. But, the world as a whole could use more kindness, more tolerance and more empathy.
Encourage children to embrace those characteristics in their own persona.
The world around you will not always be what you want it to be. But, embracing the people in the world for who they are would be a great start toward improvement.
The lesson here is that facts and science – truth – are usually not a matter of opinion.
Sure, what was once true can no longer be so. Some science can be, perhaps even needs to be, challenged.
But challenging facts and good science can produce knowledge vacuums, which can be filled by wild conspiracies, even fiction.
Beware of the person who tells you that 2+2 can’t be 4. That person usually finds facts inconvenient, so he or she just makes up stuff.
The person who can discern honest truth is one who will help change the world.
Peter