I don’t know about you, but for me AI is starting to feel a little too intelligent and a little less artificial. I’ve been watching as blog posts, videos, scripts, images, and now workflows and applications generated by AI have gradually gone from “oh that’s so silly,” to “wow that’s pretty good.” I even saw an AI generated hand recently that had the right number of fingers! At the onset of the AI invasion, I thought “I can’t be replaced by machines” but these days I’m not so sure… So, what’s an IT Pro to do to stay on top in an already competitive field?
Keep it Real.
Keep it Simple.
Keep it Human.
That’s it, that’s the epiphany. Don’t overcomplicate it and get yourself worried about something that you really can’t control. If AI is to become sentient, then we have even less power than we thought, so just embrace it. Your value as a professional and as a person is not diminished if you accept your reality, which includes knowing your strengths and weaknesses. I KNOW that my attention span isn’t the best, but what I lack in focus I make up for in enthusiasm. It balances out.
The simplest answer for how people can edge out AI is by being… people. For me, that means open and honest communication, expressing vulnerability, and embracing what makes me human. A lot of my work tasks are formulaic – I follow routines and subroutines that I could probably replicate with an AI model or similar, but the way I interpret the results of those routines is uniquely mine. My brain can be a scary place where song lyrics are constantly on repeat, but it can also be adept at finding patterns in even the messiest tangles. Even more amazingly, I can use my love of solving puzzles to untangle those patterns and then my use my wit to communicate the solution to a client.
Perhaps most importantly, as a person and not a machine I can easily adapt my communication styles to the audience at hand. My ability to pivot from Fellow IT Pro to Patient Tour Guide is imperative in my line of work, and sometimes I’ll wear multiple hats in the span of a single conversation, let alone project. When writing, I can convey my thoughts using formal, even academic, language or I can slip into my casual snark. AI can’t do that… yet.