Work in the Age of AI: Control it before it controls you

Christoph Burkhardt Uncategorized

Imagine, 4 years ago someone would have given you the sure tip to invest in Bitcoin. You would have increased your money a hundredfold and would be freer to do the things you would like to do.
The revolution hasn’t happened yet.

In the AI environment we are currently in this exact same state. Many talk about it, but no one knows exactly what it is, many still hesitate. But you can invest in AI now. And you do not even need money to do it. Just yourself. This article gives you the tools to jump on the AI train ahead of everyone else.

From crowdsourced mobility solutions such as Uber and Lyft to freelancing platforms like Upwork, every service that can be split into parts and performed by people privately, rather than employees of some company, is and will be transformed.

The gig economy has already notably taken over many industries. The simple reason is economics.

It is efficient to do this and the companies launching those platforms use our underprepared legal systems to gather enormous traction and market capitalization.

For the individual in regular employment conditions these changes seem to have little effect on day to day work lives, but that too, is going to change soon. With the rise of AI driven business cases across all industries we will see a massive demand for talent in handling these technologies.
The immediate priority is working out what needs to happen now.

Rather than distribution of work in more efficient ways, AI relies on augmenting humans to be more efficient.

The potential is so big that there is little doubt it will affect even those knowledge workers who feel safe in their routine corporate environment jobs.

It’s important to prepare for a hybrid workforce in which AI and human beings work together side-by-side. Thus it will be crucial to look at what the rise of AI will do to our jobs whether we join the gig economy workforce or not.

Work in the Age AI

Four changes will make a tremendous difference to our working lives, if we implement them right away, and do not wait until we are forced to change:

1. Control your environment or it will control you.

Being able to work from anywhere in the world, a cafe, a shared office or on a plane does not only require technological setups that support the work you do.
Much more than that it requires commitment and resilience to deal with changing environments while still being productive.
Self sufficiency and high productivity under stress and pressure are crucial to the survival of mobile work environments. Getting rid of bad habits is crucial to the success of any knowledge worker working with AI as a tool.

Task: You need to be able to explain the basis of their decisions. That is exhausting. Look at the last 24 hours and ask why you decided how you decided.

2. Control your agenda or it will control you.

Flexibility in doing whatever whenever requires an ability to prioritize on the spot, to protect one’s own agenda and schedule, to not let anyone call for last minute meetings.
It is so important in the age of AI to be able to set targets and timeframes according to whatever makes you succeed.
Controlling when you work, how you work and with whom you work will lead you to make the most of what you bring to the table.

Task: Primary schools use class schedules. Why? Because it is simple and works. Write a timetable every 30 minutes in the morning. Schedule two hours of buffer for unpredictable things.

3. Control your revenue or it will control you.

Knowing how to take care of cashflow and profits for growth today is left to a few with expertise in accounting and finance. Not in the age of AI.
The tools to organize a business are all there, they are cheap, and they replace for many expensive accountants, tax advisors and lawyers. Your job is to grow a business to a point where the inexpensive solutions are not enough anymore and you require the expertise of human advisors.
Even if you work in a large corporation you will not get around acquiring the skills of an entrepreneur to make your case and justify your costs.

Task: Ask yourself what you are doing now that drives bonuses and business value – Then apply AI to those areas.

4. Control your relationships or they will control you.

Extraordinarily successful corporate careers always rely on mentors, great relationships within the industry, popularity in the right circles and charisma.
Being selective about who to surround yourself with has plenty of scientific support. You become the people you are with, you learn from and the people you ask for advice.
Entrepreneurs know that nothing is more important than a good team. If you work in a corporate environment do not rely on any formal team setup to elevate yourself. Behind the scenes you need to build your own team. This team ideally spans across diverse divisions and sometimes even company boundaries and industries.

Task: Pick projects that extend beyond individual business units and serve the whole enterprise.


These four tasks will help you prepare for the Future of Work and beyond.

Read more about the rise of smart machines and how they fundamentally change how we live and work. To get ready for the Age of AI check out Christoph Burkhardt’s new book “Don’t Be a Robot – Seven Survival Strategies in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”.

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