The Value of Humanity

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By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, SBR Workplace Leadership Services

Introductions of novel and interactive technology, such as Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), threaten many positions in the workplace.  According to the Harvard Business Review, there are emerging new platforms including ChatGPT, Midjourney, Stable Difussion, and more that offer creative ideas, cut costs, and increase production that are advantageous in the workplace, classrooms, and at home.  Although it can be tempting to embrace these technologies and quickly move on into a new Cyberworld, similar to Metaverse, it is important to place value on humanity and those jobs that AI will not effectively eliminate.

Have you considered if your current job will exist in five years?  What about in 10 years?  Will the need for you to go into the office be necessary?  Can AI do your job in half the time and a quarter of the cost?  These are essential considerations as we evolve over the next decade and ensure you have a pertinent place in the workplace.  Realistically, there will be little need for bookkeepers, graphic designers, accountants, customer service agents, data entry roles, teachers, cashiers, social media marketers, etc., within the next five to ten years.  How can you show that your role is needed?  You have to show that humanity is still important by emphasizing behaviors such as empathy, kindness, generosity, understanding, and the like.  Let’s look at these behaviors in more detail and positions in which they are necessary:

Empathy

Empathy has become a rare commodity in today’s society. However, it is necessary in some roles and it is a behavior that humans possess that will be needed beyond the next decade.  If you were to go to the emergency room for chest pain, migraine headaches, or any medical or traumatic emergency, you would want to be seen by someone who can relate to what you are experiencing and treat you in a way they would also want to be treated.  Roles such as healthcare are where the Golden Rule often applies – treat others the way you want to be treated.  This is also being able to see through an empathetic lens.  You want to be handled gently, told what is happening, put at ease, and shown empathy.

Generosity

Generosity offers warmth from another human that can soften your heart in a way that AI would not be able to, such as a non-profit organization with volunteers who generously give of their time to assist you, provide tokens for you, listen to you express concerns, and more.  For example, this may be a therapist, a distributor of clothes, food, or otherwise, or even a homeless shelter with volunteers.  This would be meaningless to a programmed robot with no family or responsibility outside of the workplace, but the sacrifice of time is a generous offering that AI cannot offer.  Generosity is a valuable human trait.

Care

Care is a behavior that is provided from humans that demonstrate kindness, love, appreciation, and beyond.  Similar to empathy, if you need assistance in some capacity, it would be much more effective to your healing and development to have a support system of people who care.  Oftentimes before a surgery, the medical team needs proof that you will have someone to care for you after the surgery because humans need that genuine support and encouragement for one to overcome medical challenges.  There is the role titled “caregiver” that is offered after medical procedures or in your elderly years that also reveals the importance of care and the need to give it to others.  This behavior is one that could be faked or programmed by AI but only a human can exemplify true care.

The threat of AI to the workforce is a real one. Although all jobs will not be eliminated, it is important to determine where you best fit, which behaviors make you most valuable in the workplace, and how to highlight those characteristics for you to work in the fields you are passionate about and love.

Contact SBR Workplace Leadership Services for additional training topics related to increasing the need for humans in the workplace or if you need a consultant to design sessions for you.  The ongoing need for humans in your workplace may depend on it.

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