Whos Afraid of the Big Bad Future?


It can be pretty scary reading, hearing, or seeing predictions of the way AI (Artificial Intelligence) will change our future and the terrifying pace with which this will happen.

Whos Afraid of the Big Bad Future?

As a ‘glass half-full’ type of person, my take on all I’ve seen, heard and read is that it’s not all doom and gloom. One of the key themes emerging is that ‘Human Skills’ (judgement, empathy, nuance, complex decision making) are the area in which we mere mortals still have the edge and can differentiate ourselves to advantage.

Investing in yourself to develop and hone these skills will become increasingly important. In my own 30 plus years of experience in the change arena, talking to a global audience in over 35 countries, I have seen a severe shortfall in these ‘Human Skills’. Our education system and on the job training has been heavily knowledge biased, rather than skills biased. Our predominance of screen-based interactions at work and socially, has undermined our ability to read non-verbal cues.

Ironically, it is through AI that I have seen some practical and cost effective ways to address this skills shortfall. It is this that led me to found Sims4Training Ltd and start bringing simulations into the learning arena. What simulations can readily demonstrate, is the skills gaps an individual faces and encourages them to address it. Skills gaps like poor listening skills or ‘flabby attention span’* are revealed. Simulations are not the whole answer (nothing is) but an effective start to a journey of self-investment and self-improvement. Knowing where to start and being given practical pointers to build on, is a great way for mature learners to get cracking.

Those who remain in denial are the ones who really need to fear the future.

My thanks to Daniel Goleman in his book Altered Traits, for the term ‘flabby attention’ which I have borrowed.