What ChatGPT can do is impressive — but AI can’t replace humans

We know what the future of work holds for robots and AI — but what about human beings? That’s the question we put to Miriam Mertens, the founder of DeepSkill (who we recently invested in). DeepSkill is an educational tech platform which empowers companies to train their employees in emotional skills. So why is EI — emotional intelligence — every bit as important as AI for future workplaces? We dug deep with Miriam.

This is an era in which many basic skills are being outsourced to AI and robots. What qualities should employees develop to ensure they’re irreplaceable?

People will always be irreplaceable in every aspect of work that involves real human connection. They’re also key in situations involving unpredictable complexity and change. Human beings offer plenty of irreplaceable skills. For example, empathy, building strong personal connections, being able to feel a person’s energy, creating a psychological safe space, but also creativity. Two things give human beings an edge over AI. Firstly, they’re able to build solutions that have never been built before. Secondly, you can’t use an algorithm to give someone a sense of belonging.

Are soft skills more important than ever?

In all analytical and data-driven tasks or questions, AI or algorithms are or will be superior to humans. This is incredibly efficient!  But people need other people to feel a sense of belonging. This need cannot be fulfilled by any robot. Therefore, we should focus on skills that only we as humans can carry out – namely, creating creative solutions, bonding with people. On top of that AI is only replicating the behavior we are teaching them and what it learns from us. Therefore, it is even more important to be a “good human being” and to behave in a very ethical way.

How will AI shape our workplaces over the next few years?

AI is transforming the way we work and this will probably continue over the next few years. AI will automate routine tasks, which will be a big relief for humans. It is able to automate repetitive tasks which will allow employees to focus on higher-level tasks. Namely, ones that require more creativity and problem-solving skills. Hopefully, this will increase job satisfaction. Furthermore, AI can help us in decision-making. By providing real-time data and insights, it can help human workers to make better decisions. It can identify patterns and trends and complement human intuition.

What sort of jobs will AI cover that we used to do?

If we take the finance sector as an example, it will be able to automate tasks. Imagine automating fraud detection, risk analysis and investment management. It will probably reduce the need for human financial analysts and advisors. 

But again: whenever it comes to emotional interaction, AI will probably fall short. Whenever trust and sympathy needs to be established, a human worker will always be superior. Think, for example, of an interaction taking place between a financial advisor and their client. Other jobs that AI is likely to end up covering are jobs in healthcare, diagnostic tools. It’s also likely it will cover many roles in transportation — think, for example, of self-driving trucks and taxis.

Do you think that ChatGPT may develop other functionalities that could pose a challenge to your business?

Our business is based on a strong and well-balanced link between automated e-learning and content as well as “real human connections”. AI or ChatGPT helps us to create personalized and meaningful content. It is a great research and inspiration tool. Furthermore, AI can help to create rough content drafts. Then our content creators will take these drafts and contextualize and fine-tune them. Therefore, we see it as a great chance to create even more meaningful content for our learners.

Miriam Mertens, photographed here in 2022. Photo credit: Rheinproduktiv-rgb.

Miriam is a former software developer who served as the VP for startup cooperations at Deutsche Telekom before starting DeepSkill. In co-founding DeepSkill, she hopes to help people navigate the challenges of work in this era more sustainably.

DeepSkill has recently launched their platform — book a demo here to get a personal tour of the platform.

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