The Future of the Professions

The theme of Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind's book 'The Future of the Professions' has been rolling around in my head for a while now, but in light of the rapidly advancing use of AI, I thought it worth considering how this might impact the future of work.

"…less senior professionals and para-professionals are invited to undertake more specialist and complex work reliably and to a high quality when supported by clearly articulated procedures, standards, and processes, often supplemented by supervision from a more seasoned professional. The third role for less senior professionals and para-professionals is emerging when equipped with technologies that assist them in undertaking advanced work to a necessary standard."

Structured procedures, standards, and processes, combined with expert supervision and technological assistance, can now guide these professionals to deliver high-quality and complex work. Simply put, this is democratising expertise enabled by technology and expert guidance.

The implication is that the general public, who could not afford the high fees that elite experts would charge, now has access to AI that can provide expert decisions depending on the field, devaluing the expertise of high-paid professionals who face competition from

AI-powered newcomers or startups

Healthcare, law, finance, and technology will change as a part of this shift. For example, nurse practitioners or physician assistants can manage complex cases traditionally handled by doctors as technology enhances their medical analysis and diagnosis.

Less experienced para-professionals can perform specialised tasks that more senior professionals traditionally handled. Legal research software powered by AI could make elite expertise cheaper and more accessible, matching the quality of experienced lawyers.

Professionals with a creative bent to solve problems in their profession and bring unique perspectives to their work while using AI are likely in high demand.

Working for yourself with AI

If you have been reading my articles, I encourage older experts in their field, who are so-minded, to work for themselves. While self-employment will not suit everyone, there is an opportunity to embrace AI to help make this transition much easier.

Whether you are employed or self-employed, to enhance your career, you can leverage digital resources and online platforms to learn and improve your professional skills.

Seek out AI-powered tools tailored to your field.

For instance, a marketing professional could use many now-emerging AI tools to enhance productivity and competitive advantage across various services. While many automated programs exist, AI ones are becoming far more interesting.

This field is growing so fast that it is challenging to choose which cloud AI programs to subscribe to as AI programs competitors seem to grow by the day.

Rather than seeing AI as a threat, professionals should embrace it as a tool to help with their work or enhance their careers. If you are not experimenting with ChatGPT, using Perplexity or at least Grammarly, you are already behind. Please take into account the costs involved as a part of your professional development.

The value of human expertise

With AI enabling more individuals to perform specialist tasks, the value of human expertise is shifting. Professionals who can creatively solve problems and bring unique perspectives while utilising AI will likely be in high demand. Therefore, the perception of knowledge and its remuneration may need to evolve in the AI era, highlighting the need for professionals to integrate human skills with AI capabilities to maintain their competitive edge.


Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, The Future of the Professions  to improve your writing designed to provide more comprehensive and accurate answers than traditional search engines. ChatGPT

Further Reading