This month's Fortune Magazine trumpets "Humans are Underrated." In the magazine's lead article, Geoff Colvin, in an article, adapted from his book of the same name, tells today's workers that while they should be worried about what technology is doing to the world of work, there is still a place for them. Whew!
Technology is encroaching everywhere. Robots are now being employed in tasks as complex as cancer surgery and as simple as vacuuming the living room rug. No job seems safe from Robbie the Robot. Jobs like car manufacture are heavily robotic. Pepper Robot from SoftBank reads body language and responds to it. Even war is being waged remotely through strike drones. Autonomous cars are coming soon to a highway near you.
What's a human to do?
Colvin suggests that the skills that humans have that will keep them in charge are the skills of problem solving and empathy and the ability to interact with each other. "Empathy is the critical 21st century skill." Meg Bear, Group Vice President at Oracle is quoted as saying in the article.
There's even a quiz to find out how empathetic you are. (Buy the magazine.)
Colvin has good news for those who play well with others, feel their pain and women. The bad news? Lone wolves, men 25- 54 whose employment statistics have dropped from under 6% to 11.5% since 1980 are going to be in trouble.
Being nice seems to be a marketable skill in the 21st century.