Posted: 9th February 2023

It’s you vs the toothpaste cap machine


I can’t help it, it’s always the first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about AI or robots replacing a human and taking their job.


For those of you who haven’t seen the film, it’s a scene from the 2005 rendition of the Roald Dahl book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. The scene depicts Charlie’s dad, who we know at this point is already struggling financially. As he’s working away screwing the tops onto the tooth paste tubes he’s greeted by his new replacement, a shiny red motorised arm that automates his job entirely. As a result, making him redundant.



If you’re feeling a bit like Charlie’s dad now, you’re probably not the only one. The news is littered with big tech companies laying workers off. Global financial strain has led to companies optimising their software and trimming excess workers when possible. It’s all speculation and the companies don’t want the media to know whether these layoffs are directly correlated to AI. Financial strain encouraging automation isn’t the only robot elephant in the room. By now you’ve probably heard of Chat GPT. The next Google, every 12-year old’s answer to homework, and the end of life as we know it. Maybe.


In the past AI was that thing that would overthrow humans using slick robots that would outwit their fleshy creators. Or the black plastic tuna canned shaped object you shout “Alexa” to when you’ve run out of dishwasher tablets and need to order another pack of overpriced goo sachets. It’s not like that anymore, Chat GPT is coming. Like television was to books, radio was to telegraph and the oven to the fire pit. You could ask yourself what or who is Chat GPT coming for exactly? Is it the job of writers, customer service, copywriters or is it your job?


This is where good old Charlie’s dad comes back in. You see Charlie’s dad didn’t go home and wallow in a puddle of his own tears. He found a solution, the same solution we can all use to mitigate the impact of AI to our life and career. If you’ve not watched our 2023 Leadership and Management Trends video for this year you’re forgiven (as long as you go watch it after this), in the video we talked about the importance of lifetime learning. Much like Charlie’s dad, to continue and thrive, you adapt and find solutions to your problems. Whether it’s AI, a leaky roof, a flat tyre or you are out of dishwasher tablets. You can’t and won’t accept defeat. So, if AI has already taken over (or you fear a potential takeover) upskill and re-skill.


Although the movie (for some reason) doesn’t include Charlie’s dads journey through finding an engineering course and completing his training on the Toothbrush Cap Screwer 3000. It illustrates how his resilience ended with him on top…for now.

Stay tuned for the ‘Toothbrush Cap Screwer 3000 Repairer MachineTM’.

On a more serious note, if you’re worried about AI and its effects on your career and how you can adapt and mitigate the risk of any surprises, please do get in touch. Crescente offers career support and a range of courses and programmes to help you and your organisation adapt to these global changes. If you have any questions or would like to discuss some of the topics we’re talked about in this article, get in touch here.