Japan is home to Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance, a company that will be replacing 34 human workers with IBM's Watson Explorer. This version of Watson (an artificial intelligence system) is designed to support the insurance claims process at the firm (according to a recent Quartz article). 

Thanks to the 34 terminations, the move to Watson Explorer will save the company an estimated $1.1 million per year. Great for Fukoku, bad for the 34 people out of work. Now, most people mights say "Hey, layoffs happen. You'll find a better job elsewhere." Normally I would share this advice too, however this time the situation is a bit more dire. 

Typically when layoffs happen, you start your job search and in a few weeks/months you find a new gig. HOWEVER, what happens when all insurance firms use an A.I. to do your job? Guess what, your services are obsolete, and you need not apply... EVER!

Before you run to the nearest unemployment office though, take a second to finish this article. By analyzing you current skills, I believe you will be able to quickly adapt to your current situation, acquire new skills, and be placed in an even better position for work now and the future. How you might say? It starts with these four skills: 

  1. Ideation
  2. Large Frame Pattern Recognition
  3. Complex Communication
  4. Future-proofing Your Career

In the coming weeks I'll highlight each skill, why it's important, and how it'll be applied to the search for your next job. It won't be easy, it may not be fun, but the longer you wait, the more people will get ahead of you in the race with machines

Lastly, to shine a little bit of hope on a somewhat dark situation, I'd like to share the following video. We can either continue down the same path of "false scarcity" history has led us down thus far, or truly change our world to embrace the abundance that technology can bring to our front door (in a brown box of course). 

In my next post I'll tackle ideation, and how it too will be a crucial skill for the coming decade of machines learning. (click here to read the post)

Want to learn about how machine learning is evolving to impact the future of your career? Find more at zacengler.com

Links to posts in this series & more:

1) Ideation

2) Large Frame Pattern Recognition

3) Complex Communication

4) Future-proofing Your Career

5) A.I. Stepping Into Life Series

Follow Zac on Twitter: @zacengler