One of my sons graduated college with a business degree and a focus in Information Technology (IT). At the time, the trend to outsource programming and other IT jobs to places like India was in its infancy. When he asked for my advice, I told him he was in an industry that would likely grow for the duration of his career but it would be important for him to stay in jobs that required him to interact with customers face-to-face. After all, no one can outsource human contact to another continent.
It turned out to be good advice (at least so far). Indeed a working paper authored by David Deming for the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that social skills, especially when combined with math skills, are the most important element in adapting to a future where Artificial Intelligence (AI) replaces people doing routine work. The study’s conclusions are backed up by a parallel study at University of California, Santa Barbara by Catherine Weinberger who concludes, in part, that the combination of social and cognitive skills has been ... read more