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Event Highlights: ‘The future of work: AI’s influence on industries and careers’ with Simon Corah


Last week, leading futurist and CEO of Growth Mantra, Simon Corah, led an eye-opening webinar on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics on the future of various industries and careers. From financial services to healthcare, Simon shared both the opportunities and challenges for business leaders and employees at a time of grand and inevitable change.

AI growth and industry impact

GenAI is hardly a passing fad or a niche innovation. It means businesses could add as much as $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy according to research by McKinsey. In Australia, GenAI will contribute $45 – $115 billion annual value in 2030 (Microsoft and Tech Council of Australia).

As an expert in human behaviour and trends, and a successful entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience developing evidence-based strategies for business transformation, Simon said AI’s impact on industries and careers is profound.

Nearly 50% of working hours globally will be impacted by AI, whether that be by automation or augmentation of tasks and responsibilities.

In this instance, automation refers to AI that is able to directly replicate or replace the job or action normally performed by a human while augmentation is when AI can support a human to perform a job or action better.

Simon shared that investment in AI is on the rise with the majority of companies experimenting and developing their AI strategies to increase productivity. This can be seen in:

  • Finance: Less time on routine tasks, more time for high-value activities.
  • Healthcare: Reduction in administrative tasks, more time for patient care.
  • Manufacturing: Shorter design cycles, greater quality control.
  • Retail: Enhanced customer service.

While AI is making a lot of noise and globally, 60% of people are feeling increasingly unsure and nervous about the future of their jobs. Simon remarked that leaders need to understand and respond appropriately to their employees’ concerns. “AI, once seen as a tool, is now considered a partner and creator in many industries. Moving forward, AI will be an active participant in our work lives. Harnessing AI fully is an art that leaders need to practice.”

The future of work and careers

The fastest-growing jobs will embrace AI augmentation, while those that can be automated will decline rapidly. We put the question to the audience with a poll.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for AI and robotics?


The companies with the highest proportion of working hours to be impacted by GenAI are capital markets, software, banking and insurance. In particular, 73% of IT , 70% of finance and 67% of customer sales will be automated or significantly altered (Visual Capitalist).

Simon emphasised the words of the Co-CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos:

AI isn’t going to take your job, but the person who uses AI will.

While Australia has historically adopted new technology quickly, the government has been slow to encourage and legislate AI.

Key challenges

In an era dominated by AI and automation, it’s crucial to explore what sets us apart as humans: our humanity. AI presents both challenges and opportunities for most, if not all, industries and jobs.

  • The challenges include bias, liability, security, human interaction, employment, wealth inequality, power and control, and robot rights.
  • The opportunities include enhanced creativity and productivity, improved processes, and increased efficiency.

Effective organisational shift to AI requires courageous leaders to navigate the legal, ethical and control challenges. When it is properly adopted, AI can change us for the better.

The World Economic Forum identified these 10 skills as having increasing value in an AI-driven world:

  • Creativity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Complex problem solving
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Critical thinking
  • People management
  • Coordination with others
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation

Final words

Simon closed by encouraging leaders to take the following steps in their organisations:

  1. Identify parts of your work that AI could benefit, whether by automation or augmentation.
  2. Experiment with AI to determine what works best.
  3. Adopt successful GenAI strategies.
  4. Take your staff on the journey to navigate the significant cultural shift together.
  5. Be prepared to innovate and remain flexible.

Creatively solving problems and empathy will be highly valued in an AI-driven world and beneficial to society. AI will make us more human by freeing up time for face-to-face interactions, which will be more valued in the future.

GenAI is not the enemy. By using it to enhance our creativity and productivity, we can shape a future where technology and humanity thrive together.

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