AI & Skill Degradation: Are We Becoming Too Reliant On It?

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Brexit, Metaverse, NFTs & AI.

What do they have in common?

Four little words that appear on the 2020s Buzzword Bingo card.

AI is the hot topic of 2024 with many businesses claiming “we’ve intergrated AI into our business model”. What they really mean is the office junior is now using ChatGPT to draft their social media content. And is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not.

Where do we draw the line though? At a recent event, I heard an advisor say with glee how business plans are produced for clients within minutes now. Is that ok? I’m not sure.

Executives in a recent IBM survey estimate that 40% of their workforces will need to reskill due to implementing artifical intelligence and automation over the next three years. We may even have to expand our digital workshops to also cover AI.

Are we becoming too dependent on the advantages AI is offering us? The overuse of AI has the potential to lead to a serious skill degradation in the workforce.

Automation of Routine Tasks

AI and automation technologies can handle repetitive and mundane tasks efficiently. While this can free up human workers to focus on more complex activities, it can also lead to a decrease in proficiency in those routine tasks over time. For instance, if data entry or basic calculations are fully automated, employees may lose their ability to perform these tasks manually.

AI Has Reduced The Need for Critical Thinking

With AI providing advanced analytics and decision-making support, there may be less need for individuals to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving.

Diminished Hands-On Experience

For example, pilots who rely heavily on automated flight systems might have fewer opportunities to practice manual flying skills, potentially leading to skill atrophy in non-automated scenarios.

Reduced Cognitive Load As A Result Of AI

These systems often take on the cognitive load of tasks such as remembering information, scheduling, and planning. While this can enhance productivity and efficiency, it might also lead to a decline in cognitive skills related to memory, organisation, and strategic planning.