Are you empathetic? Ready to assist AI?

Over lunch my friend was talking about her daughter Evelyn. Evelyn studies in a high profile secondary school that focuses on hardcore science and technology. They are at a stage where the daughter has to start considering the choices for her university education. To the dismay of the family, the daughter announced that she wants to major in psychology in her undergraduate degree.

Before jumping into conclusions, let me state this. The parents are both doing great as technology leaders in their careers and they want to give freedom to their daughter to make her own decisions about her future. Yet, they are in a dilemma. They want to want to make sure that Evelyn is taking the right decision. They are also not sure whether studying psychology will give her enough job opportunities in the future.

Here is my take: Psychology graduates will have a bright future.

There are three aspects that we need to consider when we think about the future.

1. Artificial Intelligence and the job landscape

Artificial intelligence has already started disrupting many traditional job roles. The impact of the new disruptive forces in the global economy is massive. This impact is estimated to be 3,000 times larger compared to the impact from the industrial revolution in 18th and 19th centuries (as stated in the the book No Ordinary Disruption.)

2. What are the new job opportunities emanating from the widespread use of AI?

Accenture’s global study of 1,000 companies that are already using/planning to use AI has identified three new categories of jobs that would emerge as AI gets sophisticated. Surprisingly, these are not jobs that require deep technological knowledge. These are jobs that will require humans as intermediaries to include, review or correct empathy and emotions in the machine-learning algorithms.

3. What are the driving factors for these new jobs?

A major hurdle in the progress of AI taking over a large part of our lives is one factor — our emotion. Human emotion is the final frontier for AI. Effective ways to read and replicate human emotions are yet to be invented.

I believe that the way we see psychology will change in the future. We will certainly see dramatic changes in the role of psychologists in the workplace.

Should Evelyn pursue psychology or not?

I think she should. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

After reading this article, could you please do the three simple steps below?

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Sindu Sreebhavan is an Innovation Igniter and the CEO of As Many Minds. She speaks and write about innovative mindset and innovation in education and youth development. She is the founding editor of The Kidz Parade magazine — a publication that helps children o develop growth mindset. Recently, she was at the Women Economic Forum as a Lead Speaker. If you would like to invite her at one of your events to speak, connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ssreebhavan or at Sindu Sreebhavan