New technologies are rapidly reshaping industries and transforming the nature of work. One of the most impactful technologies of our time is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Professor Patrick Lynch, an expert in AI with a background as a psychologist, recently shared his insights on the future of work and the role of AI in a conversation with Voices of Hult. Here, we summarise the conversation, exploring the potential benefits and challenges that AI presents, as well as the skills needed to succeed in the future job market.

Prof. Lynch’s professional background

Professor Lynch’s career in AI began with a passion for understanding the impact of new technologies on society. Armed with a PhD in psychology, he dedicated his expertise to analyzing the effects of emerging technologies on various sectors. Over the years, he has collaborated with think tanks and companies at the forefront of technological advancements. Today, he imparts his knowledge and practical experience as a professor at Hult, where he teaches AI courses.

AI: Disrupting industries and jobs

Up to now, Professor Lynch focused on technologies such as the internet and mobile, which revolutionized communication and connectivity. Now it’s AI that is disrupting industries and jobs on an unprecedented scale. Hult has been ahead of other educational institutions in recognizing the importance of teaching AI skills. By equipping students with the necessary knowledge and expertise, Hult is helping ensure they can thrive in an increasingly AI-driven world.

 Augmentation, not elimination

Contrary to popular belief, AI is not primarily replacing human workers. Rather, it is enhancing their capabilities and augmenting their roles. Take the banking industry as an example. Basic customer service jobs that were once performed by humans have been taken over by chatbots. However, this development has given rise to new roles such as “bot trainers,” who are responsible for training and improving the chatbot’s performance. So, while mundane tasks may be automated, AI has created new opportunities and more enriching job roles.

The expanding landscape of marketing

Another field that has witnessed significant changes due to AI is marketing. With the advent of AI, individuals can now create visuals and content from written prompts. This integration of AI technology liberates marketers from repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing them to focus on strategic thinking, creativity, and critical analysis. The convergence of human creativity and AI-driven tools is revolutionizing the marketing landscape, making jobs in this field more exciting and intellectually stimulating.

Emphasizing analytical skills

As AI continues to advance, easily accessible information becomes more abundant. In this data-rich environment, the skills that will hold the most value are creativity, critical thinking, and strategic analysis. Prof. Lynch stresses that individuals need to focus on enhancing their analytical abilities and deriving meaningful insights from the vast amount of data AI provides. By leveraging AI as a tool for analysis, humans can harness its power to make informed decisions and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Addressing bias and lack of representation

While AI presents numerous opportunities, it also brings forth challenges that need to be addressed. Professor Lynch highlighted the issue of bias and lack of representation in training data, which can lead to inequitable outcomes. If AI systems are trained on biased data, they may perpetuate existing inequalities and disproportionately impact certain groups. It is crucial to ensure that AI algorithms are developed with diverse and unbiased training data, mitigating potential harm and promoting fairness in decision-making processes.

The emergence of AI regulations

As AI becomes more prevalent across industries, the need for regulations to govern its application becomes apparent. Professor Lynch emphasized that while regulations are still in their infancy, it is crucial for stakeholders to actively participate in shaping appropriate policies and safeguards. By actively engaging in discussions and contributing insights, individuals can help create a framework that ensures the responsible and ethical use of AI. This collaboration between policymakers, experts, and society at large is essential in harnessing the full potential of AI while minimizing its risks.

A paradigm shift in skills

The future of work is not merely about adapting to AI; it requires a paradigm shift in the skills that are valued in the job market. Professor Lynch emphasized that higher-level skills, such as those taught at Hult, will be in high demand. While AI technology can augment human capabilities, relying solely on AI will not be enough. Students must learn to leverage AI as a tool to enhance their skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. By embracing this new era of work, individuals can position themselves for success in a rapidly evolving job market.

Embracing the AI revolution

As Professor Lynch highlighted, AI is not about replacing humans, but rather about augmenting their capabilities and creating new job roles. By equipping ourselves with the right skills and leveraging AI as a tool, humans can thrive in the future of work. However, it is crucial to address issues such as bias and regulation to ensure that AI is applied responsibly and ethically. Active participation in shaping regulations and a focus on higher-level skills is essential for human and AI collaboration to reach its full potential in the workplace.