Guest written by RWC's Marketing Directot, Safiyyah Abinet
In the gripping movie of "Hidden Figures," based upon a true story, where the remarkable contributions of African-American women mathematicians at NASA took center stage, there's a subplot that holds an urgent lesson for us all. It's a story of adaptation, of one woman's determination to ride the wave of technological change rather than being swept away by it.
Dorothy Vaughan, portrayed by Octavia Spencer, was a visionary. She saw the tides of computing technology surging towards the future and, rather than clinging to the past, she decided to learn Fortran – a programming language intricately linked with IBM's mainframe computers.
Dorothy's choice to embrace Fortran was not merely a personal one; it was a strategy to secure her own future and that of her team of human computers. NASA was on the brink of a major transformation. The era of human "computers" was giving way to the inexorable rise of IBM machines, and Dorothy knew she had to act, or else be rendered obsolete.
This brings us to the point of today's blog: the invaluable AI lessons we can learn from the life and times of Dorothy Vaughan, in relation to the unstoppable wave of AI that's sweeping across industries.
No doubt AI is redefining the future at an astonishing pace, staying informed is not just an option; it's a necessity. Subscribe to AI news and immerse yourself in technology publications to comprehend the trends and seismic shifts in your industry.
Resisting change in the face of AI is like trying to hold back a hurricane with an umbrella. You must embrace it. The world evolves, and technology, AI included, is a driving force. Accept that AI is here to stay and determine how you can thrive within its embrace.
Gain Hands-On Experience
The fear of the unknown is the mother of all anxieties. Combat this unease by diving headfirst into AI tools and technologies. Get hands-on experience, and watch the mystery and apprehension fade away.
Invest in AI Training
AI is not a realm reserved for tech geniuses. There are countless online courses and resources available for you to grasp AI concepts and hone related skills. Investing in AI training is investing in your future.
Develop Soft Skills
As AI takes over mundane tasks, soft skills are your saving grace. Think innovative, solve problems creatively, communicate effectively, and develop leadership skills – these are your life skills in the AI age.
Dorothy Vaughan didn't wait for someone else to hand her a lifeline; she built her own. Don't wait for your employer to train you or for a new tool to replace you. Seize the reins and shape your own destiny. Please please remember regardless of how long you have been at your company, when push comes to shove, you're nothing more than a cost line on a budget.
Collaboration and Community
Remember that Dorothy didn't stand alone. She shared her knowledge with her colleagues, which not only helped them but also strengthened their collective resilience in the face of technological change. Working together and sharing knowledge can be a valuable strategy for adapting to new challenges.
AI isn't the harbinger of doom; it's a tool that can amplify your capabilities. Don't view it as a threat; consider it an ally. AI automates routine tasks, freeing you to focus on more complex, creative, and value-added work. Learn to work alongside AI systems, and you'll unlock boundless potential.
There's no such thing as job security in the world of AI. Instead, we have skill security. To keep your career on an upward trajectory, you must adapt, learn, and evolve. Dorothy Vaughan's journey from human "computer" to Fortran programmer is a testament to the power of adaptation. The era of AI is here. The question is, are you ready to embrace it, thrive in it, and secure your skill-driven future? The choice is yours, and the time is now.