(This article is related to the May 28, 2024, Imagining the Digital Future newsletter)

This is the major question on our minds these days. So, we did what a lot of workers are now doing when they have questions about the work they are doing: We asked the major language models on May 23, 2024 to describe what they think humans are good for.

The answers are pretty interesting, not least because they cover so much of the same ground. Here’s what they had to say:

ChatGPT 4o

The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) prompts a critical examination of the unique roles and capabilities humans possess in the age of intelligent machines. While AI continues to transform various sectors by automating tasks, enhancing efficiency, and providing novel solutions, humans retain distinctive qualities that are challenging for AI to replicate. Here are several key areas where humans excel:

1. Creativity and Innovation

Humans have an unparalleled capacity for creativity and innovation. While AI can generate content and assist in creative processes, the ability to conceive original ideas, think outside the box, and produce groundbreaking art, literature, music, and technology remains a uniquely human trait. This creativity often stems from personal experiences, emotions, and cultural contexts that AI cannot fully comprehend or emulate.

2. Emotional Intelligence and Empathy

Human beings excel in emotional intelligence and empathy. The ability to understand, relate to, and manage emotions in oneself and others is crucial in fields such as counseling, healthcare, education, and customer service. Empathy fosters meaningful connections and provides support that AI, despite advancements in natural language processing and sentiment analysis, cannot authentically replicate.

3. Ethical Judgement and Moral Reasoning

Humans are essential in making ethical judgments and moral decisions. AI systems operate based on algorithms and data but lack the intrinsic understanding of ethical principles and moral values. Complex ethical dilemmas often require nuanced reasoning, compassion, and a deep understanding of human consequences—areas where human judgment is indispensable.

4. Strategic Thinking and Problem Solving

Humans excel in strategic thinking and problem-solving, particularly in situations requiring adaptability and the integration of diverse knowledge. While AI can process vast amounts of data and identify patterns, human beings are adept at navigating uncertainty, making decisions with incomplete information, and developing long-term strategies that consider broader social, political, and economic implications.

5. Cultural and Social Influence

Humans play a vital role in shaping culture and societal norms. Through leadership, education, and activism, individuals influence social change, promote values, and drive collective action. Cultural heritage, traditions, and societal progress are deeply rooted in human interactions and shared experiences that AI cannot originate or sustain independently.

6. Intuition and Insight

Human intuition and insight, often derived from years of experience and a holistic understanding of the world, are valuable in various domains. Professionals such as doctors, scientists, and artists frequently rely on intuition to make decisions, solve complex problems, and create innovative solutions. This intuitive knowledge is difficult for AI to replicate due to its reliance on data and predefined algorithms.

7. Interpersonal Relationships

The formation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships are inherently human. Family, friendships, and community bonds are built on trust, mutual understanding, and shared experiences. These relationships are crucial for mental health, societal stability, and individual well-being, aspects where human presence and interaction are irreplaceable.

8. Leadership and Vision

Human leadership is pivotal in guiding organizations, communities, and nations. Effective leaders inspire, motivate, and unite people towards common goals. They possess vision, adaptability, and the ability to address complex human issues, qualities that are beyond the reach of AI. Human leaders also navigate ethical and moral landscapes, balancing diverse interests and values.


In the age of AI, humans retain indispensable roles characterized by creativity, emotional intelligence, ethical reasoning, strategic thinking, cultural influence, intuition, interpersonal relationships, and leadership. While AI enhances our capabilities and transforms various industries, it is the unique human qualities that continue to drive innovation, maintain social cohesion, and address the multifaceted challenges of our world. The synergy between AI and human intelligence offers the potential for a future where technology amplifies human strengths, rather than replacing them.

Gemini Advanced

In the Age of AI, humans remain essential for several reasons:

Creativity and Innovation: While AI can generate ideas and patterns, true innovation often stems from human imagination, intuition, and the ability to connect seemingly disparate concepts.

Critical Thinking and Complex Problem-Solving: AI excels at processing vast amounts of data and performing calculations, but humans are better equipped to handle ambiguous situations, approach problems from multiple perspectives, and make nuanced judgments.

Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Skills: Humans possess a unique capacity for empathy, understanding emotions, and building meaningful relationships, which are essential in fields like healthcare, education, and social work.

Ethical Decision-Making and Moral Reasoning: AI can analyze data and follow rules, but it lacks the ability to grasp the full complexity of ethical dilemmas or make decisions based on values and moral principles.

Adaptability and Flexibility: Humans are capable of learning new skills, adapting to changing environments, and applying knowledge to novel situations, while AI is often limited to the data and tasks it has been trained on.

Leadership and Collaboration: While AI can automate certain tasks and assist with decision-making, humans are still needed to inspire, motivate, and guide teams towards common goals.

Oversight and Regulation: As AI becomes more sophisticated, humans are essential for ensuring its responsible development and use, establishing ethical guidelines, and mitigating potential risks.

While AI has the potential to automate many tasks and augment human capabilities, it is unlikely to replace humans entirely. Instead, humans and AI are likely to work together in a collaborative relationship, with each contributing their unique strengths to address complex challenges and create a better future.

Additionally, there are several other areas where humans remain essential in the Age of AI:

Artistic expression and cultural creation: Humans are the creators of art, music, literature, and other forms of cultural expression that enrich our lives and reflect our shared human experience.

Scientific discovery and exploration: Humans are driven by curiosity and a desire to understand the world around us, which leads to groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in science and technology.

Caregiving and social support: Humans provide essential care and support to children, the elderly, and those with disabilities, as well as emotional support and companionship to one another.

Ultimately, humans are good for much more than just work in the Age of AI. We are the source of creativity, innovation, empathy, and moral reasoning, and we play a vital role in shaping our future.


Humans have unique capabilities that will remain valuable and important even as AI continues to advance. Some key areas where humans excel include:

Creativity and Innovation – While AI can be creative in certain constrained ways, humans possess an unparalleled ability to imagine, express emotions, and innovate in open-ended ways that AI cannot match. Great art, music, literature, and scientific breakthroughs often come from the depths of human ingenuity.

Emotional Intelligence – Humans have an innate ability to empathize, build relationships, motivate others, and navigate the nuances of social and emotional contexts that is incredibly difficult for even the most advanced AI systems.

Judgment and Wisdom – Humans can integrate information from diverse sources, think abstractly, and apply reason, ethics, and real-world wisdom to make judicious decisions, especially in novel situations AI has not encountered before.

Physical Dexterity – While robots can perform specific physical tasks, the human body’s general versatility, fine motor skills, and ability to improvise physical actions in unstructured environments remains unmatched.

As AI automates more tasks, human skills like creativity, emotional intelligence, and wisdom will become even more prized and valuable in the workforce and society. The key will be for education systems to evolve to develop these uniquely human talents alongside technical skills. Humans and AI can complement each other, with AI augmenting human abilities in many areas while humans provide the high-level judgment to direct AI systems.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Humans possess unique qualities that AI cannot replicate, making us invaluable in the age of artificial intelligence. While AI excels at processing vast amounts of data and performing specific tasks efficiently, humans bring irreplaceable strengths to the table.

Creativity and Innovation

Humans have the ability to think outside the box, imagine novel ideas, and innovate in ways that AI cannot. Our capacity for creative thinking, intuition, and emotional intelligence allows us to generate truly original solutions and drive innovation forward.

Critical Thinking and Judgment

AI operates based on the data and algorithms it is trained on, but humans possess the ability to think critically, exercise sound judgment, and make ethical decisions. We can evaluate complex situations, consider context and nuance, and apply wisdom and moral reasoning in ways that AI cannot.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Humans have a deep understanding of emotions, empathy, and social cues that AI struggles to replicate. Our ability to connect with others on an emotional level, build relationships, and navigate social dynamics is essential in many fields, from healthcare to customer service.

Adaptability and Versatility

While AI excels at specific tasks, humans have a remarkable ability to adapt to changing circumstances, learn new skills, and apply knowledge across diverse domains. Our versatility and capacity for lifelong learning make us invaluable in a rapidly evolving world.

In the age of AI, the most successful approach will be one of human-machine collaboration, where AI augments and enhances human capabilities. By leveraging the strengths of both humans and AI, we can achieve greater efficiency, innovation, and progress while preserving the unique qualities that make us human.


Humans in the Age of AI

In the age of AI, humans are still valuable and have unique contributions to make. While AI is reshaping industries, automating tasks, and augmenting human abilities, it cannot replicate the unique qualities that define human beings. Creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and a range of other skills will continue to be essential in the AI-driven future.

The growing capabilities of artificial intelligence systems are prompting a rethinking of what it means to be human. Despite concerns about AI potentially taking over certain tasks, experts see striking opportunities for humans in the age of AI. It is anticipated that the world will likely be healthier, safer, richer, cleaner, more efficient, and more exciting. People will have more leisure time, vast educational and enrichment possibilities, easier transportation, and more stimulating real-world and virtual-world experiences. This invites us to reimagine what humans are good for and emphasizes the potential for humans to thrive in this new era.

In addition, AI is expected to create opportunities for humans to develop distinct personal voices and skills that machines will not replicate, making them more distinctly human. This includes skills such as a distinct personal voice and the ability to develop distinctly human skills.

Furthermore, AI is also expected to amplify human effectiveness but also threaten human autonomy, agency, and capabilities. It is predicted that networked artificial intelligence will extend lifetimes, improve health care, and automate health care for the underserved and those who need extended care. However, it also poses risks to human agency by creating entities with meaningful intellectual capabilities for monitoring, enforcing, and even punishing individuals.

In summary, while AI is transforming the landscape of work and skills, humans still possess unique qualities and skills that will continue to be valuable in the age of AI. The future will likely require a balance between the capabilities of AI and the distinct qualities and skills that define human beings.