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.