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Home » An Optimist’s Take on Reskilling in the Age of AI: Sagar Goel (Transcript)

An Optimist’s Take on Reskilling in the Age of AI: Sagar Goel (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of skill-building strategist Sagar Goel’s talk titled “An Optimist’s Take on Reskilling in the Age of AI” at TED 2024 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Just the other day, I was having this casual coffee chat with a friend and he asked me, “Am I going to be replaced by AI? I don’t want to go back to school to learn new skills, I’m 40. And even if I do, won’t employers prefer to hire someone half my age?”

I mean, I get his concern and I have many other friends and clients who’ve been asking me similar questions. To be very honest, sometimes I worry about it too. You see, I’m a consultant and consultants like me are famous, or some of you may even say infamous, for creating these extensive, deeply researched, well-polished slide decks.

But you know what? We take great pride in this ability. But what took us days and sometimes weeks in the past can now increasingly be done in a matter of hours, thanks to AI.

The Impact of Technology on Jobs

And well, this sort of thing is happening all over the economic landscape. One in every three workers globally will find their jobs significantly impacted due to technology in this decade. And that’s not just bank tellers, factory workers and warehouse staff, but executive managers and office workers too.

You and me and all of us. That’s going to be more than one billion people impacted. And companies can’t hire their way through this problem.

Firstly, there just isn’t enough talent in growing areas such as data science, cybersecurity or clean energy. And even if companies managed to somehow hire their absolute best talent, in five years, half of their skills will become redundant.

Two and a half years, if you’re working in technology. This is what we call the half life of skills. The only solution is to reskill millions of people every year and get them to use those new skills to transition into new occupations.

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