The further along we get in our businesses, the more we’ll be battling automation. First, computers replaced manual labor like factory work. Increasingly computers can tackle everything from playing chess to programming. As a result, the most employable skill of the future is the ability to harness our creativity through technology. From American Interest:
Many people who compete at the highest levels of chess play what is called freestyle chess, where teams include a computer and a human counterpart. Excelling at freestyle does not require profound skill in chess per se, but rather expertise in working with the computer. The best players are the ones who recognize their limitations and are willing to accept the advice of the computer; those who win most are the ones who design or run the best programs. Cowen predicts that this process will be repeated across many different industries and arenas of human endeavor.
If this process holds, it’s not difficult to see why incomes will become increasingly polarized. The top end of the income distribution—which he envisions as the 15 percent, rather than the 1 percent—will be comprised of those who are truly talented or creative in their ability to work with technology. These folks will “win” the most in the new system because of their ability to make computers more productive. The rest of the population will fall into lower paying service jobs.
It’s a long read, but the entire essay can be read here.
This article was originally published on 99u.com.
Sean Blanda is the managing editor of 99u.com.