The Key Skill Robots Will Need To Master Before Taking Your Job

The risk that your job will be automated out of existence depends, of course, on the job you do. For many, that’s already happened—typically in roles and industries where the name of the game is eliminating human error and improving efficiency. But in order for artificial intelligence to take a much bigger bite out of the knowledge-economy workforce, the technology may need to start behaving more like humans, not less. And that will mean mastering one key behavior: small talk. Talk We Want And Talk We Don’t Sociolinguists involved in the Language in the Workplace Project at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand have discovered that people switch naturally between “transactional” talk—such as discussing a business goal—and “interactional” talk, like when you encourage or show concern for a distressed…


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