Futureproof yourself against AI

February 22, 2023 | Mirta Fagundes dos Santos

Close-up Of A Businessman and AI Competing In Arm Wrestling

I’ve seen YouTube videos of little kids rattling off world capitals, elements of the periodic table, or US presidents. And the Internet is in awe. “Man that kid is a genius” or “WOW, I don’t even know that and I’m 32”.

The information they hold in their little heads is the currency. The need to know the fundamental facts, as they are the building blocks for later learning. So, when the currency is information, the skill of storing and recalling information in our heads is a valuable skill to have.

But not for long. At a certain age, it stops being amazing. Imagine seeing a 17-year-old showing off with knowing the capital of North Carolina. Not impressive…

(…it’s Raleigh, by the way)

As we progress to higher education knowledge becomes the new currency. It is no longer sufficient to have information in our heads; the focus shifts to the skill of understanding information. Understanding the relationship between two actions or ideas enables us to become more and more independent and survive on our knowledge.

Think about it this way.

Information: knowing the definition of democracy

Knowledge: understanding the challenges and opportunities that arise in societies as a result of the values and principles that underpin democracy

Applied Critical Thinking is the ultimate goal

When we leave school and enter the real world we need to start applying what we learned. Applied thinking is the process of using both information and knowledge to solve problems and make decisions.

The currency in the real world is critical thinking. And the skill needed is the skill of applying this thinking to real-world problems.

The threat of AI

With AI in the game, you don’t have to have information or knowledge. And, with natural language processing, as is the case with Chat GPT, you don’t even have to navigate online search engines with correct phrases and search terms. All you have to do is ask a question, and an answer will come your way – the limitation being the amount and the quality of the data that is available online.

So, where does this leave you?

AI may have information and knowledge, BUT it doesn’t think! Instead, it regurgitates the information and understanding that is made available to it in its vast online database – i.e., the information and knowledge that already exist.

Luckily for us, we’re not hired by employers to solve problems that have already been solved or to make decisions that have already been made.

We are hired to think. Our value lies in our ability to think critically about a problem and build solutions from scratch. Solutions to complex problems that no one has faced before. Problems to which solutions do not yet exist, and can not be looked up online by any human or AI.

With the coming AI explosion, it will be harder than ever for individuals to stand out. Our Thinking Foundations course will train you in you exactly what you need to counter this: critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

To start upskilling your problem-solving skills TRY the first module of our Thinking Foundations course for FREE here.