Artificial intelligence is one of the most important technologies of the century. It will change jobs and at the same time be an indispensable helper. AI recently helped me at work with a project that had actually already failed. An anecdote with an important tip.

AI and work: More automation and more job changes

Our working world is changing fundamentally. The market researchers at McKinsey are certain of this. Artificial intelligence and the resulting automation will be the biggest upheavals in the coming months, years and decades.

According to a recent McKinsey study, a third of working hours in Europe and the USA could be automated by 2030. Just five years later, this figure could rise to 45 percent.

Office jobs particularly at risk from AI

Incidentally, employees in Germany are particularly affected by digital progress. The reason for this is that, compared to other countries, we have a lot of office jobs and administrative activities. And it is precisely in this sector that McKinsey predicts that more than every second job change will affect employees with office jobs.

Then, at a considerable distance, are customer service and sales (17 percent of job changes caused by AI) and production (16 percent). In addition to technical skills, emotional and social soft skills are particularly necessary to ensure that AI does not replace you.

The most important soft skill in 2024: learning to work with AI

Anyone who fundamentally rejects artificial intelligence and assistance programs such as ChatGPT and does not engage with the new programs will sooner or later – but tends to do so sooner – face enormous problems in their professional life.

Artificial intelligence is nothing other than the personal computer, smartphones or the Internet: AI is another technology that can become a lifesaver for some of us and is guaranteed to stay with us – despite all concerns and desires for regulation.

Prompting as a key qualification in professional life

That's why one of the most important qualities for employees is to be familiar with AI. This also means that every employee in Germany should be familiar with simple text-based AI programs such as ChatGPT. (We explained more about this in our AI Weeks.)

Instead of demonizing the new technology, we should understand how to benefit from AI. This means, for example, that it is essential to learn the right prompting. Because only those who know how to ask AI the right questions will get the right information.

AI as a lifesaver at work: An example

I would never have thought that AI could one day become a proverbial lifesaver for me – or rather, I would never have expected that it would actually happen so quickly and that artificial intelligence would be such a great help.

Specifically, I had recorded a podcast episode with two microphones. Although the mixer displayed the deflections correctly, only one microphone had recorded. The second voice could therefore only be heard very quietly as de facto background noise on the second microphone.

Adobe’s audio AI as a tip for podcasters

All attempts to use Adobe Premiere Pro to adjust the volume and sound quality to the second, correctly recorded voice while retaining the natural voice of the first person failed. A re-recording was necessary – if it weren't for the AI.

More out of desperation than hope, I had the existing soundtrack optimized using Adobe's audio AI “Enhance Speech”. And lo and behold: within a few minutes, the artificial intelligence managed (almost) perfectly to adjust and balance the different volume levels and the audible distance to the microphone, so that hardly any difference was audible.

Based on the resulting MP3 file, it was still possible to edit and publish the podcast. AI as a lifesaver in an emergency – and that was only because I had the courage to experiment with artificial intelligence on the one hand and because I had worked with various AI tools on the other.

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