Human skills that require improvement; these skills can’t be replaced by Automation

As advancement in automation technologies such as machine learning and robotics play an increasingly significant role in everyday life, their potential effects on the industrial revolution, expectedly, becomes a major focus of research and public concern. The discussion tends toward a Manichean guessing game: which jobs will or won’t be replaced by machines?

A 2013 study by researchers at Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School revealed that 47 percent of current U.S. jobs may be automated within 20 years.

Automation has gone so far that, Hong Kong-based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures has added an artificial intelligence program to its board of directors, and the program has equal voting rights just like other board members.

Futurists, likewise predict that in few years to come, as a part of the industrial revolution, we will be faced by massive replacement of the labour and work forces at our various workplaces with Automation and Robots. Nonetheless, there are still some human skills that are inherently difficult to be replaced with automation.

Activities with low technical potential for automation

The most difficult human skills to automate with currently available technologies are those that involve managing and developing people. Similarly human skills such as expertise in decision making, planning, or creative work will also prove difficult getting automated. These activities, often characterized as knowledge work, can be as varied as coding software, creating menus, or writing promotional materials. Automation systems and computers do an excellent job with very well-defined activities, such as optimizing trucking routes, but humans still need to determine the proper goals, interpret results, or provide common sense checks for solutions. The importance of human interaction is evident in the following categories:


Regardless of how corporate world evolves over time, communication will forever be key. According to a Carnegie Foundation report, 85% of your financial success is due to your interpersonal skills. This means only 15% of our success is due to technical knowledge. Although tech conscious organizations and individuals tend to favor digital communication over personal interaction, it is important to remember that people run businesses, not robots.

Complex perception and manipulation

These are skills that are performed in an unstructured work environment. They involve handling irregular objects, or require tactile feedback. A surgeon is a good example of a role that involves these tasks. For example the automation potential is very low for health professionals whose daily activities require expertise and direct contact with patients.

Creative intelligence

Creativity, they say, is the father of invention and innovation. Creativity involves both novelty and value, which is challenging for a computer, because both vary by culture and over time. Examples include fashion designers and biological scientists, a robot cannot think on its own to imprint new designs on fabrics it can only do what it has been programmed to.

Social intelligence

Social intelligence is fundamental to professions involving negotiation, persuasion, leadership, or high-touch care. Examples are public relations specialists, event planners, psychologists, and CEOs. These things cannot be done by a robot.

Teamwork and being a team player

Interpersonal skills need great improvement as well. Before joining the workforce, it would greatly benefit and be an added advantage to improve on our written, oral, and social skills. Company dynamics require that their staffs learn to work together, listen attentively to other viewpoints, and make decisions collectively. There is no chance for a bot in a scenario like this.

Building Connections

Start building relationships with others in your field before you join the workforce. Making these connections could even help you land your first job. With so many people competing for the same positions these days, it’s important to create an advantage for yourself. The ability to build relationships with people will always be considered a valuable skill to employers.

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