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Will Generative AI Drive More Workers to the Trades?

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I came across an ad for Home Depot’s “Path to Pro” microsite, which seeks to recruit “future Pros,” and an interesting question came to mind.

Is Generative AI Going to Drive More Workers to the Trades?

Around 20 years ago or so, one of my uncles gave me a piece of advice about career paths. I remember wanting to steer towards aerospace engineering; if I couldn’t be an astronaut, maybe working on spacecraft would scratch that itch. He asked me – are rocket engineers in high demand right now? No, they weren’t.

I learned broad skills that I continue to put to use on a daily basis.

The mass media keeps pushing the idea that generative AI is going to decimate all kinds of white collar industries. It might.

Generative AI can put together marketing copy, press releases, news articles, and even reviews, albeit truly terrible ones from what I’ve seen.

AI doesn’t have talent, creativity, or originality; generative AI cannot form unique ideas. It cannot think or problem-solve.

Generative AI takes an input and applies patterns to it. It’s… algorithmic.

But still, there could be some truth in the many predictions about AI’s impact on a lot of types of jobs.

I think that most trades jobs will be safe. Whether white collar or blue, skills and experience will always be in demand.

A lot of trades professionals make decisions, and also draw upon experience to troubleshoot and make judgements. For now and the foreseeable future, this is outside the realm of generative AI.

Stemming from that idea, I think that job security – if trades jobs are indeed safe from generative AI and next-gen robotics – is going to be a strong recruitment tool.

What do you think generative AI will mean for the trades?