Should-Read: Andrew Wachtel: Universities in the Age of AI

Should-Read: That the truly valuable skills will lie in understanding what are robots and software ‘bots can and cannot do—how they think, and how their thinking is different from ours—so that we can use them for good rather than evil seems a good bet: Andrew Wachtel: Universities in the Age of AI: “Over the next 50 years or so, as AI and machine learning become more powerful, human labor will be cannibalized by technologies that outperform people in nearly every job function…

…How should higher education prepare students?… Educators must consider what skills graduates will need when humans can no longer compete with robots…. Tomorrow’s leaders will need an intimate familiarity with computers…. But graduates will also need experience in psychology, if only to grasp how a computer’s “brain” differs from their own…. Business majors should study economic and political history to avoid becoming blind determinists. Economists must learn from engineering students, as it will be engineers building the future workforce. And law students should… gain the insight that will be needed to defend people from forces that may seek to turn individuals into disposable parts. Even students studying creative and leisure disciplines must learn differently. For one thing, in an AI-dominated world, people will need help managing their extra time…. Today… [the] future looks to be dominated by machines. To succeed, educators–and the universities we inhabit–must evolve.

February 3, 2018


Brad DeLong
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