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People-as-a-Premium: How Automation and Human Skills Work Together


by Steve Reinharz, CEO of AITX and RAD

The sky is falling. It really is. Because robots are going to take all our jobs.

No, they’re not. Because we humans are the premium product. And we always will be.

Steve Reinharz, CEO of AITX and RAD explains.

“Intelligent robots threaten millions of jobs,” screamed one headline last year. It’s what reporters call a “beat-up.” Meaning it’s kinda half-true and you can make it into a big story.

So, what’s really happening?

Employment is changing, that’s for sure. There’s no question, for instance, that artificial intelligence and robotics are revolutionizing manufacturing. But that’s been happening for decades. And now, AI-driven solutions are starting to make inroads into traditionally white-collar fields such as medicine, law, and finance.

In medicine, AI-powered diagnostics tools like IBM’s Watson can analyze vast amounts of medical data and recommend treatment options, making healthcare more efficient and accurate. However, this doesn’t mean doctors will become obsolete. Instead, they will focus on the human aspects of care, such as empathy and understanding patients’ needs, which machines cannot replicate.

In law, AI-driven platforms are automating tasks like legal research, contract analysis, and even predicting case outcomes. But this doesn’t mean lawyers will disappear. Instead, their role will evolve, with a focus on complex legal analysis, negotiation, and courtroom advocacy – skills that require human intelligence and creativity.

In finance, AI algorithms are transforming the way trading and investment decisions are made. Robo-advisors and AI-driven investment platforms can analyze market trends and make predictions much faster than humans, reducing the need for human financial analysts. However, financial professionals will still play a crucial role in guiding clients through complex financial situations and providing personalized advice based on human understanding and intuition.

The key is understanding people-as-a-premium. Robots and AI may be replacing some aspects of these jobs, but they cannot replace the unique human skills and interactions that are vital to many professions.

There’s no doubt employment is set to change. But we’ve managed that before.

Historically, shifts in employment have been navigated successfully, such as the move from agrarianism to industrialization. We will find a way to manage this new wave of change, embracing the potential of automation while recognizing the irreplaceable value of human skills.

The shift to people-as-a-premium is happening already. We just don’t always realize it. Many of our everyday interactions are with automated systems, which really means robots. When we call banks or credit card companies, we can mostly get what we want from the system. But if we need something more complicated? We get a human. That’s people-as-a-premium right there.

People like interacting with people. Especially if there’s a problem or something complex to sort out. It just works better. And it always will. The trend toward robots and AI doing the mundane, repetitive, and dangerous jobs is here to stay. Let’s embrace the humanity of people skills and interaction. What we have to do is give people the space to change the kind of work they do. And we have to change the idea that mundane and repetitive jobs are good jobs. Let’s leave the drudgery to robots and trust people with more fulfilling, higher-paying human work.

By the way, this whole thing was written by ChatGPT. (Just kidding.)

Steve Reinharz 210301 900x900 circle

Steven Reinharz is CEO of Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions, Inc. (AITX) and founder of the three RAD subsidiaries Robotic Assistance Devices, Inc. (RAD), Robotic Assistance Mobile (RAD-M), and Robotic Assistance Devices Group (RAD-G). Born and raised in Canada but working in the US since 1995, he is an active voice in the security and robotics industries. His experience is multi-faceted in that he started and ran his own security integration company early in his career, then becoming one of California’s premier integrators, Mr. Reinharz was part of a team that successfully sold an integrator to a global security firm for $42 million and has held various other security industry roles. Mr. Reinharz speaks on panels at ISC East and West, ASIS, GSX and others.

Mr. Reinharz credits almost two years of work performed with the LAPD combined with the fundamentals of the book on AI he wrote when he was 19 years old as the basis for many of the technological innovations he has launched. Mr. Reinharz’ professional interests include the application of AI in the 4th Industrial Revolution, the new economy, NFTs and finance.