March 21, 2018

The Machines are Coming and we are Fighting Back

It’s very trendy to talk about the rise and importance of technology in all its guises. People love it. Investors love it. Businesses love it. Children love it. The tide may be turning though and here’s why.

The richest man in China (he of Alibaba fame) made everyone at Davos sit up when he reminded them that we now need to urgently learn the things that machines can’t do. His list included creative problem solving, teamwork, empathy and communication.  There are others of course but this is a pretty good start. We like that list because these are the things we teach children in our business. Our view for several years now has been that we urgently need to teach children to skill themselves for a very different world and we’ve developed our courses accordingly.

Machines and Technology

If your son or daughter has any ambition to be a pilot, please help them find another dream. There won’t be many pilots by the time they start work. If they want to be a doctor, think about this: most diagnosis will be machine driven in a decade but the doctors in demand will be the ones who over-index on empathy and communication skills in looking after the elderly, the very sick or the people whose condition needs managing over time. Exactly the same is true for the law. Already, machines are solving cases through precedent and algorithm. The lawyers of the future will be the ones with incredible communication and creative problem solving skills who compete with machines where there is no precedent or where the case has a complicated spider’s web of events. The world of work is going to change beyond recognition and we are letting children down everywhere if we don’t skill them accordingly.

Don’t get me wrong

We love technology as much as anyone for the incredible strides that it has allowed humanity to make. Now’s the time though for us all to reassert what that humanity really is. At our best, we are capable of incredible creativity, life changing empathy, extraordinary oratory and working with others to solve immensely complex and challenging problems. The only way that we can protect those things and take on the machines is to develop a generation of children with those skills. Let’s all get on with it.

Hugo Shephard, Managing Director at Role Models

If you’d like to find out more about our Life Skills Courses, then please click here