How To Build An AI Proof Career


A significant part of the workforce that reached its prime age in 2000 became largely unemployable in the now-digitised world of work

With AI, we are yet again at the cusp of a massive transformation in not just how we work, but the meaning of work itself

To build an AI-proof career, one needs to hone the following four “skills” that will give humans an edge no matter which sector they are in

In 1985, the prevailing government of India introduced policies that accelerated the adoption of computers in the public and private sectors. Their ability to process large amounts of data at record speed & accuracy was a compelling proposition. 

However, this was still an era heavily influenced by socialist ideologies and one where labour unions had immense powers to disrupt.  Naturally, the fear of computers taking over white-collar jobs triggered stiff opposition. 

A collateral impact of this resistance to something new was that a large section of the workforce refused to adapt to change and learn to engage with this “alien device”. They stuck to the belief that formal education, technical skills and conventional work systems will continue to remain the norm.  

As a result, a significant part of the workforce that reached its prime age in 2000, especially from tier 2 & 3 cities became largely unemployable for the now digitised world of work. 

We are yet again at the cusp of a massive transformation in not just how we work, but the meaning of work itself. The easy answer of course is to ‘upskil’ one’s self. However this time there is a more dangerous truth which we must first acknowledge. 

At the time when computers were introduced, success was assured for those who could learn how to operate them as the nature of this technology needed humans in control to ‘command’ or code for it. However artificial intelligence is just a few steps away from achieving singularity,  a point at which it will be beyond human control. 

In fact, AI is already capable of performing most rote tasks that humans are currently trained for. The hard truth is, rather than learning new rote skills, humans will have to upgrade their natural intelligence to thrive alongside artificial intelligence instead of being replaced by it. But what does this mean? 

By nature of our construct, human beings have the superpowers to imagine without data, to leverage emotions to move people (as customers, colleagues, clients etc) or to create options that are not in the prescribed set. 

We are not bound by rules & processes. Essentially we can think, communicate and solve within uncertainty whereas AI still needs a data set to start drawing inferences, building logical connections or observing patterns. 

To build an AI-proof career, one needs to hone the following four “skills” that will give humans an edge no matter which sector they are in. 

Perform Jugaad

Problems that involve logical reasoning, data-driven decision making and processes will be something for algorithms. But, there are going to be problems and situations at work that require one to break away from rules, make compromises and ‘do what it takes’. 

This ability involves pulling favours, breaking non-legal rules and taking calculated risks. This is where human professionals will be more valued. 

Intuitive Thinking

There are two forms of predictive decision-making. One, that solely relies on observing past patterns and the other that also considers input of intuition. Our brain, particularly the subconscious, can process subtle cues from our fast-changing external environment and make interpretations. 

Developing the ability to listen to these nudges from within will empower us to make adaptive, contextualised and bold decisions. 


Chatbots today can react to queries or initiate conversations while relying on trained LLMs. But we can use the right keywords, tactically leverage emotions and calibrate body language based on who we are speaking to, what we ‘feel’ about them, their subtle motivators, context of existing nature of relationship and also what we want out of them. The ability to charm will enable us to move the toughest of people. 

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Unlike in dystopian movie plots, AI has not yet been motivated by money and will not take over as CEOs for a long time to come. The hunger for growth is a powerful spark for the brain to explore possibilities, seize opportunities and connect dots that yield exponential business outcomes. Professionals must operate with an owner’s mindset to be the ones prompting bots to perform tasks as an aid. 

In a world that is rapidly changing, one has to now think in sets of 10 years. The above superpowers will most certainly retain our edge for a long while before SMEs and startups at the last mile replace humans for roles that involve building personal connections or involve the application of abstract creativity and communication. 

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

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