The Hall of Thoughts

Venture Capitalist Says Creativity Instead of Coding

Tom Hulme is a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist who says schools should focus on cre­ativ­i­ty and empa­thy instead of sim­ple tasks soon to be dom­i­nat­ed by com­put­ers. He wrote in a recent Wired UK opin­ion piece:

Any job that involves rep­e­ti­tion, and no cre­ativ­i­ty, is at risk of dis­rup­tion – from per­form­ing cal­cu­la­tions to review­ing forms to sort­ing machine parts, and even­tu­al­ly dri­ving. Such roles are the eas­i­est for machines to do far more effi­cient­ly than us. We should pre­pare kids for roles that are tougher to auto­mate – roles like artists, care­givers, entre­pre­neurs or the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cists at the edge of sci­ence.

He even sug­gests the trendy teach­ing of cod­ing skills may be the wrong approach:

Deep machine learn­ing will like­ly auto­mate the writ­ing of code rel­a­tive­ly quick­ly. While it’s use­ful to know what com­pris­es lan­guages or algo­rithms, I sus­pect most of the lat­ter will be writ­ten by machine against a spe­cif­ic human (or even­tu­al­ly machine) query. Cre­ativ­i­ty is going to be far more impor­tant in a future where soft­ware can code bet­ter than we can.

I think Tom is unfor­tu­nate­ly cor­rect with his assess­ment. While there will always be a need for com­put­er pro­gram­mers, even that field is vul­ner­a­ble to the impe­r­i­al march of automa­tion. The fast progress of tech­nol­o­gy will destroy so many jobs that we must change how our soci­eties and economies func­tion in the future.

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