Artificial General Intelligence and its Impact on Jobs

Posted by: Jeff Landine and John Stewart on July 19, 2019 10:57 am

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is typically divided into Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). In our last blog, we dealt with ANI and its implications in the workplace. In this blog we will deal with AGI.

AGI focuses on developing and using deep artificial neural networks (a set of computer algorithms) to process massive amounts of data in a relatively short time. “Deep” refers to the number of layers of computer algorithms, which permit the computer to form connections between these layers. Because of these connections, computers are essentially able to program themselves after multiple trials of processing different sets of similar data. Once the accuracy and efficiency of the model is determined by humans, it becomes available to those who want competent analyses of information pertinent to operating their business and/or performing their occupation.

Predictions are that many new jobs will be created as the field of AGI develops. To illustrate these predictions, presently six different individuals are typically deployed when using deep learning methods to develop new computer models. The decision-maker secures funding and resources to complete the project. The stakeholder quantifies the business value of a proposed solution. The domain expert gets familiar with the work area and problem to be solved. The data scientist translates business problems into computer tasks. The data engineer determines possible databases to use in simulation; and a systems architect designs the infrastructure, such as servers to handle big data. Within a relatively short time, the number of individuals and specializations needed to develop computer models will increase and result in jobs with new specialized tasks.

The impact of AI on the workplace is anticipated to be swift and impactful. A report from the World Economic Form in 2018 projected that these computer programs are expected to create 133 million new jobs by 2022; however, 75 million jobs are likely be displaced. This leaves a net new jobs creation of 58 million due to growth in AI.  An RBC report suggests that Canada will add 2.4 million new jobs to the workplace in the next four years. However, it also suggests that the current generation of young people are not being prepared for these sweeping changes. Workers will need digital skills, that is, the ability to understand digital items, digital technologies and the Internet fluently.  They will also need human skills such as critical thinking, active listening, social perceptiveness, and complex problem-solving skills for job success.

Career counsellors face three immediate challenges: disseminating labour market information, counselling workers who are displaced, and helping existing workers find retraining or upskilling programs. Part of this challenge is the speed at which these predictions are coming true.  Career counsellors and their professional organizations will need to produce materials to provide clients with significant labour market information related to displacement and innovations in the workplace.  Individuals who lose their jobs often experience low self-esteem, depression, and lack of self-confidence. As well, prolonged periods of unemployment can lead to suicide ideation (Milner, Page & LaMontagne, 2013). Counsellors will need to deal with these issues before they help their clients make workforce changes. Counsellors will need upskilling themselves to understand the tasks being performed in these new jobs, and to assess their clients’ current transferable skills for the new jobs. They need knowledge of available educational programs that offer uptraining. Further, career counsellors need to be familiar with government support programs that can help their clients make workplace transitions.

Despite these dire predictions, we suggest it will be more “yellow light” than red or green. Many Canadian employers are small to midsize businesses and may not have the capital to adopt these AI technologies presently. To deal with these rapidly developing workplace needs, we think there will be local, provincial and national responses, a part of which will provide agencies with the needed help to deliver services.

Suggested Reading

A beginner’s guide to automated machine learning & AI. Retrieved May 27 at https://skymind.ai/wiki/automl-automated-machine-learning-ai.

Chowdhry, Amit. (2018). Artificial intelligence to create 58 million new jobs by 2022, says report. Retrieved May 27 at https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2018/09/18/artificial-intelligence-to-create-58-million-new-jobs-by-2022-says-report/#14a40f204d4b.

Human intelligence and intuition critical for young people and jobs of the future. Retrieved May 27 at http://www.rbc.com/newsroom/news/2018/20180326-future-skills-rpt.html

Milner, A., Page, A., & LaMontagne, A. D. (2013). Long-term unemployment and suicide: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one8(1), e51333.

Jeff Landine and John Stewart
Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, N.B.



*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Artificial Narrow Intelligence and its Impact on Jobs

Posted by: Jeff Landine and John Stewart on May 24, 2019 12:43 pm

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is typically divided into Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). ANI deals with machines or robots that can perform a task or function such as welding on a manufacturing assembly line. These robots/machines are designed to perform one task and are not able to adapt to other tasks unless they are programmed specifically. Conversely, AGI deals with computers that are able to perform different levels of human intelligence, such as perceiving, reasoning, problem solving, and interacting in the context with some creativity. Additionally, AGI computers can make decisions to move information between databases.  Presently, much of thinking behind AGI involves future projections based on theory and some recent innovations in deep learning, one of the main Canadian focuses in AI research. In this blog, we want to focus on ANI and its implications for jobs going forward.

The influence of ANI has already been felt in the workplace. For example, during the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s, the manufacturing industry replaced many line workers with robots. Today, there are computer programs with the abilities to do word processing, perform translations, and numerous smart phone Apps that execute many functions via the internet. These innovations are already impacting the way information is accessed and business is transacted.  Predictions are that narrow intelligence will eliminate jobs that require repetitive manual labour, and jobs characterized by standardized tasks. For example, some have forecasted that as many as 42% of all jobs in Canada are in danger of being automated. The degree to which these jobs can be automated will influence their availability in the workplace.

However, due to innovations, new jobs have been and will be created. For example, there are 845 jobs listed under the AI title on LinkedIn Canada’s website, including engineers, technologists and technicians with specific specialities in AI. Due to the structural unemployment created, workers will need to either quickly reskill in AI competencies or transition to other jobs in the workplace. Workers who seek AI jobs will need to acquire new hard skills: problem-solving and analytical thinking skills; skills that enable them to build, maintain and repair software programs and machines; and, the ability to look for technological innovations that enable businesses to remain competitive. Additionally, they need soft skills, such as competent languages skills to explain technical information, and empathy to understand the stress others experience due to work transitions.

It seems quite certain that the number of jobs characterized by repetitive tasks and requiring low cognitive skills will continue to decrease.  This decrease has several implications. Career counsellors will need to understand the scope of AI educational programs, their availability and entrance requirements. Further, counsellors will need labor market information to benefit their clients. For example, individuals, aspiring to jobs in AI and those already in the workforce will need to have had formative education in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) or acquire it to complete technician and technology programs in computer design, operations, and maintenance. Those currently in school will need to master STEM courses if they intend to choose educational paths leading to careers in AI. AI specialists in the workforce will need to upgrade continually to keep up with innovations in their field. And, employers will need to develop policies that enable workers to take educational leaves regularly to master changes issuing from technological innovations.

Jeff Landine and John Stewart
Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, N.B.

Suggested Readings
Retrieved on March 20, at: www.cifar.ca.
Retrieved on March 20, at: www.cifar.ca/ai/”pan-canadian-artificial-intelligence-strategy.”
Retrieved March 20, at: www.+RG-“CPA-Introduction-to-AI-What-You-Need-to-Know”-February-2019.pd.
Retrieved March 20, at: sencanada.ca/content/sen/committee/421/SOCI/reports/”RoboticsAI3D”Final_Web_e.pdf.
Retrieved on March 20, at: www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/”4-ways-ai-artificial-intelligence-impact-financial-job-market.”



*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Mandatory Career Planning

Posted by: Derek Collins on April 26, 2019 8:21 am

In the beginning, I did not like career counselling. I saw it as the “fluffy” part of a school counsellor’s job. Compared to cognitive behavioural therapy or grief counselling, it did not dive deeper into the inner person. I thought that anyone could do career counselling. All a person needed was a working knowledge of the post-secondary world, some insight into scholarships and willingness to take some time and help a student look at requirements on a university website. Most of this information could be gathered through web pages and college catalogues.

I have come to realize how wrong this view was. I took on a new role ten years ago at an outreach school. These are alternative high schools for students who have not experienced success in traditional “brick and mortar” schools. The previous counsellor of the school did extensive career planning with his students. It did not take me long to understand why. For students who had dropped out of school, there was a need to find a new purpose for attending. Career exploration activities was a way to find that purpose. It built a motivating vision of the future. And it was essential for helping students choose appropriate and meaningful courses. Career planning is now mandatory for all the students at the outreach school.

As I mentioned, my primary reason for incorporating career counselling with all my students is to help them find a purpose for school. Most of my students experience stress around school. Career planning has been found to reduce the academic stress of school. (Sharma, 2014) I have also found that there is an interesting gap when it comes to career planning. Often schools may feel that parents will help their children explore careers and post-secondary options. Levine (2013) found that parents themselves are unsure how to help their children.

Parents assume that their children are capable of finding information about post-secondary programs and related careers on their own. This is too bad because parent expectation is the second most important determinant as to whether a student will attend post-secondary study or not. Proper academic preparation is the most important factor. And if we lower a student’s stress, they are more likely to engage in their work. Helping students carry out career planning ends this cycle.

-Derek Collins

References:
Levine, K. A. (2013). History Repeats Itself : Parental Involvement in Children ’ s Career Exploration L ’ histoire se répète : La participation des parents dans l ’ exploration de carrière pour enfants, 47(2), 239–255.
Sharma, V. (2014). Role of Career Decision-Making in the Development of Academic Stress among Adolescents. International Journal for Research in Education, 3(6), 58–67.



*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Holy Small-Town Ethics, Batman! Navigating Community Spaces and Experiences as a Counsellor in a Northern, Remote, Small City

Posted by: Robyn Steinke, MC, CCC on March 25, 2019 9:06 am

I live in the interesting community of Grande Prairie, Alberta. Technically it is a small city with a population of around 65,000 and it is technically situated in an intermediate northern part of the province. I say “technically” because by way of feel and experience, Grande Prairie still holds to “small town,” we receive Northern Living Allowance and incentives to live here though not as fully as those say in the Territories, and the population fluctuates up to 125,000 on weekends because of Costco, Walmart, and the Prairie Mall. I should note that when my family moved to this community in 1995 the population was roughly 28,000. While the community has changed, the core remains the same, and when it comes to the professional counselling community, it’s a small one. Back to that small-town feel, experience, and all the conundrums of small-town ethics.

It is well-recorded that small town counsellors face unique challenges such as multiple relationships, limited resources and competence, and geographic and professional isolation (Schank, 1998). Luckily there are ethical codes and standards of practice established by the CCPA that provide guidance. Unluckily ethics are not black-and-white and one-size-fits-all. So, what have we got?

“Counsellors should discuss confidentiality with their clients and any third party payers prior to beginning counselling and discuss limits throughout the counselling process with clients, as necessary” (CCPA, 2015, p. 11).

Check.

“People are more likely to know each other in small communities and the counsellor is more likely to meet up with clients in non-professional situations. Practitioners in small communities protect private knowledge, and ensure confidentiality in the face of intricate social networks and lines of communication that lead to the availability of informally-gained knowledge” (CCPA, 2015, p. 11).

Check check.

“Counsellors, whenever possible, avoid entering into social, financial, business, or other relationships with current or former clients that are likely to place the counsellor and/or client in a conflict of interest and/or compromise the counselling relationship. This includes relationships via social media” (CCPA, 2015, p. 24).

Getting a little trickier, check.

“In rural communities, and in certain other workplace circumstances, such as in closed communities or remote, northern, and isolated areas, it may be impossible or unreasonable for counsellors to avoid social or other non-counselling contact with clients, students, supervisees, or research participants. Counsellors should manage such circumstances with care to avoid confusion on behalf of such individuals and to avoid conflicts of interest. Lack of anonymity requires rural counsellors to think carefully as they develop new social networks. Boundary management is a challenge in small communities as multiple relationships are inevitable.” (CCPA, 2015, p. 25).

Now we’re really into the weeds, especially considering people (myself included) with history in the communities they counsel in, but check.

If CCPA’s ethics codes seem straightforward and yet challenging, you are not alone. What do we do? How do we navigate the code? Professionally, one of my favourite research pieces includes a practical to-do list by Schank (1998), which can be found in full PDF version online. Of the 13-item list, I have found the particular items listed below integral, though all of Schank’s (1998) recommendations are worth knowing as a rural or remote counsellor:

  • Recognize that ethics codes and or standards are necessary, but not sufficient (Schank, 1998, p. 279).
  • Know relevant codes, regulations, and laws (Schank, 1998, p. 280).
  • Talk directly with clients about the likelihood of out-of-therapy contact (Schank, 1998, p. 280).
  • Set clear boundaries, both within yourself and with clients (Schank, 1998, p. 280).
  • Be especially aware of issues of confidentiality (Schank, 1998, p. 280).
  • Participate in ongoing consultation and discussion (Schank, 1998, p. 281).
  • Know when to stop (Schank, 1998, p. 281).

Further I would like to add some personal tips that have helped me navigate these moments when your feet are on the ground, your eyes are open, you are not in the office, and a client or former client has been seen.

  • Strive to maintain your natural facial expression upon sighting the individual. Internally I refer to this as my “poker face”, though it is not a single expression.
  • Find a comfortable distance, if possible. For example, I often spot clients or former clients at the community gym and library, my eyes are looking for a space with an amount of distance to allow the individual their freedom to engage the environment while allowing myself to do the same.
  • Use community sightings as a way to review informed consent and build the working alliance in follow-up sessions. I found a great value in discussing these sightings and interactions at the next session to review important client rights and touch in to the counselling relationship following these interactions.
  • Be polite.
  • Isolation is not the solution, exploring the community, finding comfortable spaces, and social connections are necessary components of therapist self-care that are not to be underestimated in importance.

To my fellow counsellors in your unique communities with your unique challenges, I wish you well and I hope you have found a helpful tip or two.

-Robyn

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Standards of Practice, 5th Edition, April 2015.
Schank, J. (1998). Ethical issues in rural counselling practice. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 32(4), 270-283.

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ581163.pdf




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Managing Your Career While Going Through Cancer Treatment

Posted by: Mark Franklin on September 23, 2016 3:46 pm

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

Cancer strikes without prejudice – but people from all walks of life and within all levels of the cancer community can be united in a common goal of coping with this life-altering event. People living with cancer can and do play a significant and powerful role in their own journey. Kim Adlard has first hand experience witnessing how involvement impacts experience. And involvement starts with developing awareness of what’s available in terms of support, services, programs and activities. Hear Kim share her story and the new resource she founded, One Access Space, Kim also shared these valuable resources: Cancer and Careers and Working with Cancer

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Don’t Make Any Assumptions: Inside U of T Mississauga’s Career Centre

Posted by: Mark Franklin on August 26, 2016 11:44 am

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

“Don’t make any assumptions,” said self-confessed career geek, Felicity Morgan, “about what you think about any career area.” Felicity is director of the career center at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. The UTM career centre serves over 13,000 students, with 15 staff. When we make assumptions we risk “not see your own biases and not identify career opportunities.” Instead, Felicity recommended career exploration: “Check it out, talk to people, check yourself out internally if it’s the right thing for you. You can only make the best decision with the info you have in front of you. So get that info in front of you.” Hear the whole interview with Felicity Morgan.

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

6 Easy Steps to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile: Tell your Story and Own your Brand

Posted by: Mark Franklin on August 23, 2016 12:29 pm

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

“LinkedIn is the site where we’re investing time, not wasting time,” Leslie Hughes, LinkedIn optimization specialist and owner of PunchMedia, told Career Buzz listeners. “Linkedin is not the sexy social media site, it’s not the one everyone goes to gleefully every morning,” said Leslie, but it is the business network, so it pays to make it good. How?

Leslie highlighted 6 steps to start optimizing your online presence and improving your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Do a digital audit. Find out your “online first impression,” Leslie recommended. Conduct a search on yourself to see how you are being perceived by potential hiring managers or clients. Make changes to remove unflattering content.
  2. Get a professional head shot. “If you do nothing else, focus on a really good head shot so you appear confident, smiling and approachable.”
  3. Craft a strong headline that’s not your job title. Bypass LinkedIn’s default headline which is your most recent job title, and go for this formula: _[descriptive title]_ helping _[these clients]_ deliver _[these results]_, for example, Career management leader helping individuals and employees manage their careers for the future
  4. Understand the Summary is the most important content. “You have 2000 characters to effectively tell your story.” Need ideas? Leslie recommended watching Simon Senik’s TEDTalk, Start with Why.
  5. Go long on copy. In your Experience and Volunteer and other sections, “long copy outperforms short copy,” Leslie said.
  6. “Put the ‘social’ in social media.” Don’t just rely on a static profile, engage with others through Shares, Posts, and interactions in Groups.

Leslie Hughes recommended listeners use these social media tools and steps “to own their brand and to become their own digital media agency.”

Also in the show Denise Raposa discusses the careers of older adults in our changing work environment.

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Inspiring Motivation For Career Growth/Change

Posted by: Jamie Dovedoff on August 23, 2016 11:22 am

ChangeisprocessIf you ask someone if they like their job, truthfully of untruthfully the majority of the time they are going to say they love or like their position. But just how often are we actually being truthful? Where my parents have stayed in the same career their entire work lives, I have changed careers and jobs frequently throughout my relatively short time in my work because I was bored and needed something new to inspire me. However, I know many people (professionally and personally) who have stayed so long in an occupation they despise, that they have lost touch with what they are motivated to spend 40 hours/week and 52 weeks/year doing. They go to work for the paycheck and hate every minute of it!

I participated in a workshop with Mr. Michael Kerr in June 2016 on creating inspiring workplaces/cultures and he addressed the topic of the “Six Powerful P’s of Motivation and Engagement”. Though his lecture was on workplaces, these concepts are also applicable to the individual and may be particularly important to our clients (or even ourselves) who are so dissatisfied with their career that this dissatisfaction has crept into their personal lives, perhaps even in the form of mental illness.

1) Passion: The destination. If they could have any position, what would it be? Finding passion may take some real digging and involves exploring core belief systems to determine what it is that your client is truly driven by, what do they ultimately want in a job?

2) Purpose:  If passion is the destination, purpose is the journey toward that destination. The purpose is building the pathway towards their passion. The tasks they complete and the challenges they maneuver to “follow the yellow brick road” to their purpose.

3) Progress: Achievement. This concept involves creating measurable short term goals so that they can acknowledge the actions they have taken toward reaching their passion. Acknowledging their achievements, creates motivation to continue on the purpose/journey toward the purpose/destination.

4) Pride: The engine. Pride is an intrinsic motivator which fuels the journey and keeps your client’s moving along their path towards their purpose.

5) Play: This adventure should be fun!!!Any change throws the equilibrium off balance which is not always fun and can be downright stressful. However, when your client is working towards their passion, they should be enjoying the path to get there. If they aren’t, perhaps they haven’t dug deep enough into their core beliefs to find their true driving force.

6) Personal: To cultivate daily motivation to make changes in their life, the journey should be theirs and theirs alone. Not a journey they “should” take but one they have chosen to take. If they “own” the journey, their motivation will continue despite being met with challenges/obstacles along the way.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Starting Over at 35 – Inspiring Story of Career Change

Posted by: Mark Franklin on July 6, 2016 12:40 pm

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

On the surface Melissa Hughes had it all. In her words “On the outside, my life at 35 looked great  —  a promising career, a doting partner, an elegant home, things, vacations, a big engagement ring, money in the bank… There was just one problem: I wasn’t happy.”

After a series of career error corrections Melissa sums up her career aspirations as “…wanting to do meaningful things with good people”. Melissa, a communications professional with past careers in journalism and classical music, publicized her tumultuous story of Career & Life change in her Huffington Post article Starting Over at 35.

In this episode of Career Buzz we talk to Melissa about her inspiring story and learn about her mantra on career & life.

Also in this episode; we speak with David Bowman, founder of TTG consulting, a consultancy specialized in corporate career change & transition, about Career Management in organizations and the importance taking control of your own career.

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Importance Of Toys and Play In Learning and 3 Immigrants Share Their Secrets Of Success In Canada – CareerBuzz Podcast

Posted by: Mark Franklin on July 6, 2016 12:39 pm

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

Ever wonder what it’s like to immigrate to Canada? In this episode of CareerBuzz Mark interviews 3 immigrants from the Toronto Region Immigration Employment Counsel (TRIEC) about the strategies they used to find success and ways immigrants can make new connections, integrate into the Canadian workforce and learn to love their new home.

Also on the show Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of 21 Toys discusses her growing start-up company, the importance of toys and play in learning and her company’s new game The Failure Toy, which teaches how to reframe failure as feedback.

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA