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How To Beat The Robots

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How To Beat The Robots

Every day brings new evidence that we’re seemingly doomed to lose the race against the machine; now even the quants have...

3 Minutes Read

Every day brings new evidence that we’re seemingly doomed to lose the race against the machine; now even the quants have their back up against the Wall (Street)

Even though there are some amongst the digerati, such as Elon Musk, sounding the alarm bell our era’s collective love of innovation and disruption is currently so strong that we seem to be on a forced march to a manifest destiny in which we automate everything and anything we can, whether or not it ultimately makes good sense.

Given that’s the case, and given that that means your job is probably automatable what can you do to make it the finish line (i.e. your 401k)? Well, here are 10 tactics that will help you beat the robots. Or at least give you a shot at not being the first to die! Remember you don’t have to run faster than the bear, just faster than the fat bloke!

Be funky – it will be a long time until robots can mix a deep appreciation of calligraphy and supply chain management to create a smart phone.

Be funny – a humor algorithm? Don’t make me laugh.

Be loving – though the mortgage company don’t take it as legal tender, it is all you need.

Be really smart – smarter than the robot.

Be flexible – adapt like Darwin (isn’t this the new single from Maroon 5?)

Be likeable – particularly if you’re not a very fast runner.

Be curious – if you don’t want to understand the robot it’s going to be tough to figure out how to beat it.

Be closing – though these are “always be suggesting” times a closer is always going to be valuable.

Be suggesting – but come to think of it, always be suggesting. 

Be thankful – well it is November 26th. But good advice for the other 364 days as well.  

In sum, be human. Robots are well on the way to do everything we can, and then some. Resistance probably is futile. Though there are many other factors that will shape their evolutionary path (anti-robot political activism anybody?) it’s a pretty good bet that in another 20 or 30 years robots of all different form factors will be commonplace in the fabric of our working and non-working lives. We had better learn how to stop worrying and love the algorithm. 

Even though soon we might not be able to tell bot from bod at a superficial level surely our human spirit will always be distinguishable deep down. Surely no algorithm could really capture what is wonderful and unique about you. These 10 tactics, though offered as a pre-thanksgiving amuse bouche, contain elements of that you i.e. the human spirit, that from time immemorial through time without end are the essence of why, at the end of the day, you will beat the Robots. Though it may come down to penalties.


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