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6 Reasons Why Leadership is Still Important in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to aid and replace humans in many areas, in fact, half of today’s workforce activities will be automated by 2055!

Although there’s a long-running fear of machines taking over humanity in the vein of a dystopian sci-fi movie, there will always be a place for human leadership.

The form that takes may be different than the leadership style we see right now, but it’s humans that created the machines and they will continue to be a step above them.

Let’s take a closer look at 6 reasons why leadership will still be important as we enter the AI era …

1) Vision and Implementation

No matter how powerful and ‘intelligent’ computers become, there still needs to be an overall vision, framework, or aim, through which the AI operates. We might put computers to work to solve the problem of the unequal distribution of the world’s resources, but there still needs to be a leader to set that goal in the first place and interpret the data on a human level.

AI might determine that vast amounts of resources need to be sent to certain regions and that the human population is unsustainable. It is on leaders to implement that effectively within the structures of government and transnational agreements.

Leadership will change with the emergence of AI, but it will not go away. Leaders will simply face new challenges and will be defined by how they tackle them.

2) The Human Touch

There are many areas of life that still require a human touch or where humans might prefer the human touch, e.g. when there’s a need for back and forth conversation and understanding. You could (and some people do) learn a degree or skill online but asking questions and engaging with an educator is still preferred.

There are many applications of AI in the medical field, but it’s going to be a very long time before a computer can fully replace a physician in the process of discussing symptoms and explaining diagnosis’.

Computers may be able to decide what loans people should qualify for, but a mortgage broker might still see value in meeting an applicant face to face.

Future leaders will play an important role in utilizing emotional intelligence or so-called ‘soft skills,’ while AI can do the ‘hard’ skills and number crunching.  

3) Leaders Can Adapt

Typically, AI is designed and programmed for specific purposes within specific industries. Although computers can process information much faster than the human brain, they are limited by this application.

Human leaders, however, can take in their full surroundings, assess outside information, and adapt accordingly.

It will be a very long time before we have an autonomous AI that can learn and apply itself freely.  

Thus, leadership will still be important at the top level, even if mid-management is replaced by robots.

4) Knowing What’s Best for Business

Leadership will be more important than ever during the transition period into more advanced AI. Leaders will have to make the decision between adopting computers to do certain tasks and making parts of the workforce redundant or sticking with humans for ethical reasons or perceived benefits.

This decision is a human decision—is it better to maximize profit and cut costs with AI or is good leadership knowing when to keep humans employed regardless of advancements in the?

5) Leading Robots

One theory regarding AI and leadership is that if robots become almost human-like, they will still need leaders like regular humans. In fact, traditional leadership qualities will apply to a greater degree, the more human the AI behaves.

6) Human Leaders Have an Intangible Quality

It is argued that some people are born leaders and there is a certain intangible quality that draws large numbers of people to specific individuals. Could a robot emulate the charismatic Britishness of Winston Churchill or the cool and calm vibe of former President Obama? Would Apple ever have become Apple if its figurehead wasn’t Steve Jobs, but Stevebot V 2.0?

A lot of basic leadership qualities are primal and biological—standing up straight, being physically well built, and commanding an audience with a strong voice.

No matter how human-like machines become, will we always just realize it’s a wonky robot in a human suit and not a genuine, natural born leader?

What do you think? Will there always be a place for human leaders alongside artificial intelligence, or will the advanced of AI make the human mind itself obsolete? Let us know in the comments below!

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