How AI Can Help Us Redefine Human Work

There is plenty of discussion about the possibility of artificial intelligence taking away jobs and wiping out entire careers. But many applications of AI are actually enabling humans to focus on being more human and less machine-like, taking away many of the boring and repetitive tasks that people don’t enjoy, but that machines are very good at. Human translators have been told for decades that their jobs would soon be irrelevant, when in reality, the industry has only grown and more jobs have been created.

Very few enjoyable aspects of human translators’ work have been eliminated by technology, but some of the least attractive aspects have. Removing mundane, repetitive (read: highly automatable) tasks from any job makes it easier to focus on things that humans do usually enjoy and can uniquely do well. So, amidst all the skepticism and fear surrounding AI, could it actually help us spend more time on work that enhances and improves lives for workers? In order to prepare for applications of AI popping up in more places, managers and business leaders should double down on improving precisely the skills that machines struggle with -- such as creativity, team leadership, critical thinking, and relationship-building -- while working now to get ahead of the curve in identifying work they someday want to hand off to machines.

Nataly Kelly
VP of International Operations and Strategy, HubSpot

Nataly is a longtime contributor to the localization industry, having worked for various services and tech companies over her career in the industry since 1996. She is a former translator (ES>EN) and certified court interpreter, and an author of books on translation and interpreting (her latest: Found in Translation, Penguin, co-authored with Jost Zetzsche). Her views and writing have been featured in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, the New York Times, Huffington Post, and numerous other media outlets.

Today, she supports the growth of international business at HubSpot, an award-winning tech company based in the Boston area, with international offices in Dublin, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, and Berlin.