There’s been a topic popping up quite a bit lately – AI anxiety (aka AInxiety). Yes, you heard it right, ‘AI Anxiety.’ With the lightning-speed tech advancements, it’s no surprise that people are feeling a tad jittery about the future. Will robots steal our jobs? Will we become obsolete? Here you have some friendly advice on how to tackle these worries head-on and stay ahead of the curve. So, grab a cup of tea (or coffee if that’s more your speed), settle in, and let’s dive into this digital rabbit hole together.
Remember the lamplighters of the 19th century? No? Well, let’s time-travel a bit. Back then, lamplighters had the crucial job of lighting, extinguishing, and maintaining street lamps – every single day. Then, along came electricity. (Thanks, Edison!) It was brighter, safer, more reliable, and didn’t need a human to turn it on or off. Naturally, this meant the end of the road for our lamplighter friends. But while the profession of lamplighting became obsolete, the people didn’t. (Went to cover other jobs). Was it easy? Hell no!
Fast forward a few decades, and we saw a similar scenario unfold with accountants and Excel. Before the advent of spreadsheet software, businesses relied heavily on accountants for even the most mundane calculations. With Excel, though, those calculations became a piece of cake. Suddenly, companies didn’t need the same number of accountants they had needed before. Many learned to use Excel, automated the tedious tasks, and focused their energies on offering strategic financial advice.
The point is technological advancements might disrupt certain jobs, but they also open up a whole new world of opportunities. All it takes is a willingness to learn, adapt, and grow.
So, how does one overcome AI anxiety?
Upskill and Reskill
Just like the lamplighters and accountants of yore, it’s essential to upskill and reskill to stay relevant. Learn about AI and ML applications in your field. You can set up a free account to use ChatGPT and learn how to give it nice commands. Remember, the goal isn’t to compete with AI but to collaborate with it.
Soft Skills and Creativity
AI is fantastic at crunching numbers and spotting patterns, but it can’t match human creativity and critical thinking – at least not yet. So, focus on honing your creative skills and nurturing your soft skills. Think about how you can use AI to improve your work rather than seeing it as a threat.
Acknowledge your feelings and journal about them
If you find yourself thinking about AI taking over all the time, know that it’s normal to fear the unknown. Acknowledge your feelings and put them on paper. Write the worst-case scenario you can think of. Then, write the steps that you would take should it happen. Then, ask yourself: “How likely is this to happen?” Rate from 1 to 10 how likely this is to happen, where 1 is the less likely scenario, and 10 is the most likely scenario.
Cultivate a Growth Mindset
Last but not least, cultivate a growth mindset. This involves seeing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than threats. With a growth mindset, you’ll be more open to learning new skills, taking on new roles, and adapting to change.
Now, overcoming AI anxiety is no small feat, but remember, every significant change in history has been met with resistance and anxiety. But we, as a species, have always found a way to adapt and thrive.
In the end, remember this – AI is just a tool, and like all tools, its impact depends on how we use it. It can either be a job-stealer or a job-creator, a threat or an opportunity. The choice is ours.
So, let’s choose to learn, adapt, and grow. Let’s choose to view AI not as a harbinger of job doom but as a catalyst for better, more fulfilling work. Let’s choose to take control of our professional fate. And most importantly, let’s choose to swap AI anxiety for AI enthusiasm. After all, the future is what we make of it.