AI and the Future of Millennials

AI has snuck into our daily lives and there is nothing to stop it. Not only does AI power autonomous vehicles, but AI already decides what products you should buy, what movies you should watch, what music you should listen to, and whom you should date. If you talk to your iPhone, Google Home, and Amazon Echo, you are talking to an AI engine that powers these personal virtual assistants. AI decides whether you are approved for a loan, determines the outcome of a job applications, identifies threats to national security, and recommends medical treatment. AI is even helping sports teams minimize injuries to their most important assets (see “Leveraging Agent-based Models (ABM) and Digital Twins to Prevent Injuries”).

AI is already everywhere and will soon become an indispensable component in nearly every aspect of your life. Yes, Moneyball is coming to every aspect of your life, Millennials. But now is not the time for Millennials to panic. As I stated in the blog “How State Governments Can Protect and Win with Big Data, AI and Privacy:

“We can’t operate in a world of fear; jump to conclusions based upon little or no information, or worse yet, misinformation or purposeful lies.”

AI poses either a threat or an opportunity…depending upon your mindset…that will guide your career and life. The article “Millennials, This Is How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Your Job For Better And Worse” states that:

  • AI will create 500,000 more jobs than it will displace over the next three years
  • Millennials are the most vulnerable generation to the threats AI poses

So what does AI really mean to our future business and society leaders – the Millennials? And what should they be doing today to not only prepare for a world dominated by AI, but flourish?

AI and Millennials

I asked my daughter, Amelia, a Millennial who is a sophomore at California State in San Marcos, for her impressions on AI and the potential impact AI might have on her blooming career.

What are your first impressions when you hear the phrase Artificial Intelligence or AI?

My first impression when I hear the phrase “AI” is a visual image of technology and brains integrating into one. I first saw it as computers knowing our thoughts and answers before we even know them ourselves. Initially, it caught me off-guard. The thought of having our intelligence converted into technology, is slightly off-putting… yet insanely interesting.

What are your initial impressions from the propositions in the article, that Millennials are the most vulnerable generation to the threats AI poses? How does that statement make you feel?

This statement makes me nervous. The idea that technology could consume the jobs we are training for in college is scary. However, I am excited about the potential to take advantage of AI to compliment my career. I am adopting a “How can I keep up?” mindset; that is, how can I stay relevant in a world of rapid technology innovation.

What do you think Millennials need to do to prepare themselves for a world dominated by AI?

I think Millennials need to prepare themselves for lots of different technologies, not just AI. The most important piece of advice given to me by my brother Max, is to develop the discipline to read something new every day. You have to keep up with the most recent topics and developments. For example, computer science is a huge topic right now. To master and fully comprehend the fundamentals of coding and breaking down those pieces, will help me keep up with the advancements of technology in ways I may not even realize today.

What are you doing to prepare yourself for a world dominated by AI?

I am seeking to understand first-hand from more experienced folks.  For example, I recently sat down with a woman who works at Google to discuss her views on AI and how I can prepare myself for such a drastic innovation. As a result of that discussion, I was able to get a solid understanding of what future employers will look for. In addition to that, I have been reading and listening to podcasts that not only my mother’s friend recommended, but also podcasts and books that a co-worker of my father’s suggested. Millennials need to “learn to learn” and constantly seek out new and different perspectives if we want to stay relevant for the future.

Educating the Next Generation of Business and World Leaders

As fortune would have it, the University of San Francisco School of Management Advisory Board had our first meeting this week. We started the meeting with an inspirational video from David Jones, Executive Producer of Envisioning at Microsoft, about the Future of Workin a connected and “intelligent world”. 

Our Advisory Board was then asked to contemplate what the university must do to be relevant in 2025. Here’s what we came up with:

Goal:  Create fearless, well-rounded students

Create a results-centric, contextual curriculum which includes:

  • Outcomes (results) focused, not process-focused, which teaches students how to identify, validate, value and prioritize the solution requirements.
  • Logical reasoning – deductive, inductive, and abductive – that trains students how to triage and decompose a problem into smaller, more manageable problem sets.
  • Accepting of critical feedback as the foundation for improving. Learn to get feedback from both hard (performance) data as well as soft (behavioral) data.
  • Mastering the “Art of Failure” as the foundation for learning. Be willing to try new things, approaches, and techniques in order to come up with ideas that “might” provide better results.
  • Critical thinking skills in order to challenge or question the initial ideas and results in order to find better.

These are the basic skills that tomorrow’s leaders – the Millennials – are going to need in order to stay relevant a world of constant technology change that can unleash new work and life opportunities.  In fact, these are the basic skills that everyone is going to need to master to stay relevant in a world of constant technology change.

As Amelia said:

I am constantly challenging myself. Continuous learning is the most crucial preparation skill a Millennial can master. The opportunity to learn from the more experienced experts is an underrated opportunity. The more people within the industry I speak to, the more I am preparing myself for the uncertain world of AI.

 

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