Voices

Creativity versus bots

At this point in history, the accounting community is no stranger to the idea of artificial intelligence performing our most basic tasks. Personal assistant bots like Siri and Alexa give us up-to-date information, answer questions, and control devices.

Beyond that, though, AI and bots are developing rapidly for uses in everything from medicine to disaster relief. A casual stroll around the internet reveals humanoid robots with the ability to sense emotion, complete search-and-rescue operations, or discover the probability of life on Mars.

Blockchain-based AI platforms are even creating humanoid robots like the VGo robot for kids who can’t attend school in person due to medical conditions, and others for search and rescue operations. If you haven’t heard of the Curiosity bot, you may have missed that there might have been life on Mars. That’s all not to mention Romeo for elderly at-home care, DEKA’s prosthetics, and Milo that helps children with autism recognize emotions in others and express empathy.

Robot
Attendees watch SoftBank Group Corp.'s Pepper humanoid robot on the second day of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. A theme this year at the industry's annual get-together, which runs through March 2, is the Internet of Things. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

With everything technology can do for us, it’s hard to imagine a future world in which roles and entire industries are not replaced by bots. It’s simply the reality. But as we look more closely at our options as humans and what we can offer to a world where technology rules, we’ll notice the need for creativity is continuing to grow.

Human creativity will dictate the direction we take new technology and how we implement it into our daily lives. Human creativity will be more valuable in the future because our innate ability to become inspired is something no robot — at least yet — can accomplish. Artists, designers, writers, musicians … the long-held idea that your “soft” skill is not as valuable as other skills will be old history as bots take over the more mathematical roles in our modern world.

Here’s what to do to increase your creative mindset and look at life through a more creative lens.

  • Flex your creative muscles: What are you most proud of creatively? Not everyone is blessed with amazing artistic skills, but we all have the ability to imagine, and everyone thinks in different ways. To flex your creative muscle, whether it be physical or otherwise, practice what you love to do already. For example, if you’re as great as Marie Kondo at organizing your closets at home, find opportunities to organize your space more efficiently or in new and exciting ways in other parts of your environment. Challenge yourself to use this skill to help others, and use your strengths wherever you can.
  • Try new things: It’s also important to focus on learning rather than putting on a performance. Learn new creative skills by reaching out to expert creatives in your field and asking them how they got started, and if they can add you as a mentee. If you can learn a basic new creative skill, you’re one step closer to achieving that out-of-the-box thinking that will be more and more necessary as we move into the future with bots.
  • Put on your problem-solving hat: Take a look around you and see what challenges are present in your environment or in your work. Look for solutions in these everyday situations, no matter how small. For example, have you been thinking about attending a conference, but aren’t sure if it’s in your budget? Think about a solution in which you look at the problem from another angle. What expenses could you creatively replace? Could you stay in an Airbnb instead of an expensive hotel? Could you write a grant proposal? Don’t discount your ability to see the problem from new angles to get the answers you need.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid of change. Change is the only constant, and stagnancy is a sure-fire way to get stuck in a role that you either dislike or that will become obsolete. Learn and grow with the world, and as always, be mindful of how you implement and use technology in your work and personal life.

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