Wednesday, August 08

The Rise of the Machines…Worried?

Well, yes. Sorta.

It’s 2018 and looking at the trend of technological advancement from Artificial Intelligence to Robotics, one cannot deny that flying cars may be here sooner than we all thought.

In December 2016, a world record was set for fastest insurance claim pay-out- 3 seconds, with zero paperwork. And guess the best part? It was done by a bot!

Now, while Nigeria may not be harbouring any Elon Musks yet (at least none that that we know of), it would be foolish to assume that this cannot change in the twinkle of an eye. So, the question is, are the machines coming for your job? Should you fight digital transformation at work because you might lose your job?

We can answer this question with an analogy. The most important skills in the banking industry in the 80s were bookkeeping skills. Banking in those days was done manually with ledgers and tons of paper, so if you had bookkeeping abilities, you were King. Fast forward to the entrance of computers in the 90s, and the skill requirement shifted from book keeping to data entry; the computers could balance the books, but someone needed to input the information. So bookkeeping skills became obsolete, and data entry skills became king. What then happened to the book keepers? Well, the ones who read the situation as them being obsolete became just that; obsolete. But the ones who correctly read the situation did not.


Organisations do not hire people, they hire skills and so people do not become obsolete/redundant – skills do. Yes, technology is making a lot of processes quicker and faster and eliminating the need for manual input. But this should not necessarily sound a death knell for your job. Are you up to date with the technological advancements in your field? If you aren’t then it might be wise to get updated. The Internet has made knowledge readily available (and sometimes for free too), so there’s no excuse not to stay abreast. For some people all they need might be a simple skill upgrade in the same field. For others, tech advancements may mean an entire eradication of your field. Okay. So switch fields. Learn something new. There are too many (again, sometimes free) learning platforms (Coursera, Shaw Academy, Udemy, Udacity, etc.) for you to sit around crossing fingers and waiting to be served a redundancy letter.

In summary, yes the machines are coming. But instead of fighting digital transformation (which will happen regardless of your sulking), it’s best to embrace it and use it to your advantage. After all, if you can’t beat them, join them, yes?