Friday, March 3, 2017

Educating our kids for future jobs

I was watching a video that YouTube recommended to me. It is about hard work not paying off. I am now lazy. It is also true I can relate to the sentence, "hard work not always pays off". The post has nothing to do with the video though. This post is about the changing scenario in terms of Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence while the video was of spiritual nature


By now, you might have already heard of Artificial Intelligence. Did you hear that technology might replace most of the conventional jobs? That is, the jobs that humans do right now, will be done by machines coded specially for certain tasks. And like human brain, the machine learning systems will get more experience as they keep working. So a future jobs ad saying "needs accountant with three years experience" might actually be an ad for a bot or a machine.

I could relate myself to that video (that prompted this post) because my hard work of almost seven years failed. I worked on a project hoping that it will fund me for the rest of my life and that I can retire early. But something happened. Not a fire or any type of major catastrophe. Just a small change in the way Google parses webpages and lists them in the Search Engine Results. All that seven years' of work was gone just because of that small change.

Future Proof them when Educating Kids of Today

Did the above teach anything to you? Future proof yourself and your kids. Don't be sure the present circumstances will always last and support you. As an exercise spend a little time googling "what (future) jobs will artificial intelligence replace in next 10 years". Check out the results; read a few articles and then think/plan accordingly.


I don't want to sound a preacher. Given the nature of conventional professionals and the pace of development in IT, esp IoT and Artificial Intelligence, the best bet for current generation is to diversify their education portfolio. Instead of just one specialty, they'll need a broader skill-set that would be of real value by the time they enter the job market, few years hence.

For example, if your kid wants to pursue journalism, encourage him/her to pursue MA/PhD in natural languages too, as well as a Degree in Mass Communication or Statistics (Big Data based). That will provide the child with enough skills to get a good hold in an economy largely controlled by software and cyberorgs. Cyberorgs are not future. They're already here... humans powered by pre-programmed chip to improve their performance.

Future Jobs - Who is at Risk?

Associated Press already employs the use of Artificial Intelligence for updating their news network. Maybe two or three more years before someone comes up a software that will replace manual reporting completely!??!

Other than blue collar jobs, journalists, writers, accountants, health specialists and even programmers have a tough competition with Machine Learning (or Artificial Intelligence). This means people will have to go for unconventional jobs and businesses. It is just a matter of time before Artificial Intelligence takes over plenty of daily life aspects, including earning.

Elon Musk (no introduction needed, I think) proposed common universal income to deal with the possible future. The US is debating common universal income to help people who would be obsolete by Artificial Intelligence but it wont be enough to give them a fulfilling life.

I think we are smarter than some piece of software code and if the latter is threatening our future generation, it is better to invest in multiple talents instead of just one high specialty. That's my two cents. You are all are more educated and experienced so I hope you already have a better plan for your kids.

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