Innovative Minds, Innovative Teams: The Importance of Communication and Creativity in Today’s Labor…

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Indexes
  1. Discovering novel algorithms with AlphaTensor
  2. Competitive programming with AlphaCode
  3. Let’s start by Communication
  4. Can you communicate? It’s time to innovate!
  5. In conclusion…
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As the world of work continues to evolve, we are now entering a new era of disruption brought on by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Models like Chat-GPT, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney are increasingly threatening skilled human jobs such as advertising, translations, and even coding. This is not just a matter of a few job positions within a company, but AI is fundamentally reshaping the current work structure for humans. The onus is on us to adapt and prepare ourselves for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in this exciting, but also uncertain future.

AI Disruptuing the Market Job image concept by author using Midjourney.

The technological revolution is not coming from a super powerful general-purpose AI, but from very advanced trained models for specific tasks. All of these models mentioned above have learned how to achieve their goals by their own means. This implies that whenever a clear objective and means to observe the environment can be set for a machine, it is very likely that the model will learn how to achieve the goal in a very efficient way, even if humans haven’t thought of it before. AlphaTensor developed by DeepMind is a clear example of this:

Sincerely, I believe it is just a matter of time before AI becomes competitive at a professional human level in fields that apparently seem fortified against its disruption (spoiler: there is no such thing).

Similar to the industrial revolution, technological advancements in AI are bringing about significant changes to the workforce, including automation and job displacement. However, these advancements also present novel opportunities such as increased efficiency, cost savings, and the ability to tackle new and complex tasks.

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My natural question at this point is: What are the essential skills for success in the current and future job market? Two words. Communication and Innovation.

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Imagine a future where our ability to think creatively and communicate effectively will be the only way to stay relevant in the job market. Is it that crazy?

Let’s start by Communication

We are living in an age where knowledge is no longer the problem. Humanity has never had as many scientists as we do today. Each field of research is filled with highly passionate researchers dedicated to their specialties. But, what can they do with this knowledge? How does their work impact the real human world out of the paper?

Many fields of research acknowledge their own limitations in terms of impact on the real world. That’s why approaches of multidisciplinary teams are becoming more common in universities and in the job market.

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Communication plays a vital role in enabling teams to achieve their goals. As specializations have become intensely deep in each field, even small misused words can change the entire concept of a discussion. It is critical not only to be assertive with the use of language but also to understand the real, big and deep meaning of those concepts in each field. Only when the multidisciplinary team finds a common language with no confusion or misuse of concepts will the team be able to accomplish their goals in a more efficient way.

Developing the ability to understand and convey complex ideas can give you a real competitive advantage. Have you ever considered the importance of communication in today’s job market? How does this apply to your field of work?

Can you communicate? It’s time to innovate!

Ok, let’s say we have mastered communication. We possess the skill to understand and convey ideas in a simple and elegant way. What can we do with that?

I can’t help but remember the scene from the movie Patch Adams, where Patch has a heart-to-heart conversation with Arthur. I encourage you to take a moment to recall this scene and reflect on its relevance to our current discussion. To help you, here is the video and transcription of the scene:

Please keep in mind this two questions:

  1. How does effective communication play a crucial role in fostering innovation?
  2. Why do some people struggle with coming up with innovative ideas?
Patch (Robin Williams) has a conversation with Arthur (Harold Gould), who gives him his nickname.

Patch: May I come in?

Arthur: If you bend your medial collateral ligaments… and place one talus in front of another… I don’t see where you’d have a problem. Of course, if there were a news story covering this event… the headline might read: “Small Brain Enters Room.”

Patch: The fingers. What’s the answer?

Arthur: Oh, you’re another one of those bright young fellows… who always know the right answer, is that it? Welcome to real life.

Patch fix the cup of Arthur who’s looking at him with impression. So Arthur takes Patch hand.

Arthur: How many do you see?

Patch: There are four fingers, Arthur.

Arthur: No, no, no. Look at me.

Patch: What?

Arthur: Y-You’re focusing on the problem. If you focus on the problem, you can’t see the solution. Never focus on the problem. Look at me! How many do you see?

Patch looks at his fingers again.

Arthur: No, look beyond the fingers. How many do you see?

Patch: Eight.

Arthur: Eight. Eight. Yes! Yes! Eight’s a good answer. Yes. See what no one else sees. See what everyone else chooses not to see…out of fear and conformity and laziness. See the whole world anew each day. Ah, the truth is, you’re well on the way. If you didn’t see something here… besides a crazy, bitter old man… you wouldn’t have come in the first place.

Patch: What do you see when you look at me, Arthur?

Arthur: You fixed my cup. I’ll see you around… Patch.

Did you figure it out already?

Please share your thoughts on it in the comments after you finish reading. I’m really interested to know your interpretation. Even if you choose not to comment, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your understanding and write it down somewhere to keep in mind as you continue reading. It might be a good exercise for innovation.

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Let me answer the questions I made to you.

How does effective communication play a crucial role in fostering innovation?

When you’re facing problems where your knowledge is necessary but not sufficient to solve it, you need to be skilled enough to engage in meaningful conversations with people who could have the missing pieces you need to solve the puzzle. In the scene we just saw, Patch was trying to figure out the answer to the fingers problem but couldn’t find the correct perspective. So, he went to Arthur’s room and found a way to connect with him. Only then was Arthur willing to really guide Patch towards the innovative perspective in a meaningful way, from which Patch could actually learn and growth.

Always remember that effective communication is key when facing problems where your knowledge is limited. Engage in meaningful conversations with others, as they could have the missing piece to solve the puzzle. When you are struggling, shift your focus from the problem itself to connecting and communicating with others to gain a deeper understanding and new perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions.

Why do some people struggle with coming up with innovative ideas?

Arthur’s message to Patch was not to focus on the problem, but on the goal to achieve. “Don’t look at the fingers, look at me.” Patch’s goal was to connect with Arthur, to present himself, and to get to know his new friend better. He was intrigued. So, that’s why “look at me” made sense. Only when Patch could set the problem itself out of focus, remember the goal to achieve, and focus on that again, was he really able to see the answers. It was a natural response.
In multidisciplinary teams, the key is not only to reach a common language of understanding and integrate the relevant knowledge from each field, but also to
put the focus on the goal, not the problem. Only then can a novel way of solving the problem arise naturally.

Always keep in mind not the problem you are trying to solve, but the very reason why it is a problem.
What is that situation preventing you from achieving? There you go, that’s your goal.

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In conclusion…

As the labor market shifts towards a more dynamic and AI-based economy, the value of possessing a creative mind and strong communicative abilities has become increasingly evident. With the abundance of information and knowledge accessible to the general public, individuals who can effectively extract meaningful insights from this plethora of data and generate novel ideas will be in high demand. Furthermore, the ability to clearly articulate these concepts to a diverse audience is essential to foster collaboration and innovation in a multidisciplinary setting. This is particularly evident in industries such as technology, finance, consulting, and management where the ability to think outside the box and effectively communicate those ideas is a critical skill to stay competitive and capitalize on new opportunities. Thus, possessing a creative mind and strong communicative abilities has become a key asset for success in today’s and future economy.

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I’ll see you around… dear reader.

Nicolás.