Robots want your job

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The AI intelligence explosion is going to shake the world, and there's only one way to survive it

Originally, what gave humans their advantage over other species was our intelligence – Homo sapiens means 'wise man'. Today, with computers beating us at Poker and moving into a surprising number of white collar workplaces, our strength lies in our creativity, independence of thought and in our social skills. In other words, in the things that distinguish us from machines.

In January, the McKinsey Global Institute created a search portal that calculates the automation potential of various types of job. Their belief is that by 2055, around half of our occupations will be done by computer.

Surprisingly, this list includes many jobs previously thought safe. Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, is building software that will make routine management decisions, including hiring and firing employees; the free legal chatbot, DoNotPay, successfully contests parking tickets in London and New York and the future looks gloomy for Japanese office workers.

Tesla CEO and space-tourism enthusiast, Elon Musk, believes that a fusion of human and machine intelligence is vital for us to stay relevant and avoid becoming "house cats" to artificial intelligence. Musk is currently working on an injectable 'neural lace' that will augment the brain's computing abilities. We'll be able to become cyborgs... sort of.

"The human brain cannot be replicated by a computer."

Like Musk, neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis believes the future for humanity lies in our assimilation of artificial intelligence. Humans with brain implants might be able to operate distant machines or sense x-rays, with the brain accommodating foreign objects as part of itself.

We'll never be replaced, however. Nicolelis is certain that the human brain cannot be replicated by a computer. This is because human consciousness is not algorithmic, it is made up of the unpredictable, non-linear interactions among billions of cells.

And it is this spontaneity that makes us so innovative. Human beings are illogical, unpredictable creatures. They can be erratic, and may not be as reliable as an algorithm, but they are capable of empathy. Computers will never achieve this.

As artificial intelligence muscles its way into the jobs market, many of us will find the more routine aspects of our jobs increasingly automated. By default, the tasks we should prize and the skills we must cultivate above all else are those that show originality of thought, individuality and imagination.

Remember, you are not a robot.

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