What professional skills will become significant in the coming years?

Original author: bakadesuyo.com
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In this article, Tyler Cowan, a professor of economics at George Mason University, will talk about how income inequality, automation and artificial intelligence will change our work and life , and who will benefit from these changes.

In 2011, Foreign Policy Magazine put Tyler Cowan at 72nd place in his ranking of “Top 100 World Wise Men.”

Tyler is the bestselling author of The New York Times, who has written 13 books, including “Discover Your Inner Economist” and “Great Stagnation” .

Tyler and I discussed skills that will become important in the coming years, when it makes sense to order dishes with the worst name on the menu, and why the end of Star Wars is against the future.

Obey cars


Eric:
One of the key words of the book “Mean Left Behind” sounds like “obey the cars.”

Tyler:
The smarter machines become, the clearer are the outlines of how people should change. We are accustomed to the fact that we are the only creatures endowed with mental abilities - the mind. But today, if the car is smarter than you, then this is a new level of development, and you need to know when to give it up. This concerns understanding when the advantage is yours, and when the machine, and more recently, the superiority remains with it. I think that with such a virtue as humility returns.

Eric:
Who will succeed in the future, and how can we prepare for what awaits us, in your opinion?

Tyler:
More will be achieved by those who have the ability to work with computers and software, programming. This is obvious, but I think that with increasing income inequality, the success of specialists who are well positioned in the service sector, having some kind of marketing plan, or who have managed to capture the attention of more affluent people, expects success. In principle, in the future, all the skills related to psychology will become scarce, since computers still have not reached the required level in this area. Good professions will be associated with branding. These include all industries that analyze how to capture people's attention. I think this is a really promising sector.

Marketing and motivation: do what is inaccessible to computers


Eric:
You talked a lot about the importance of marketing in the future.

Tyler:
Theoretically, marketing for a neoclassical economist is a complex problem. This is partly due to the art of persuasion, which we still could not fully understand, and partly to the ability to gain the attention of a person that is almost impossible for modeling. An increase in the share of marketing in our economy signals a constant limitation of the ability of economic theory to explain the current situation. I predict an increase in the significance of what I call "economic anthropologists." It will be difficult for them to prove that, along with traditional accountants, they are busy with science, but their work will help to understand the essence of current events.
Therefore, I am a big fan of people like Grant MkKraken, who, in fact, is an anthropologist. He spends a lot of time working with companies and helps them figure out what their customers care about and how to capture the attention of these people.

Eric:
You also mentioned motivators. You said that the importance of people who can stimulate others to do things will grow in the coming years.

Tyler:
Many of us are likened to preachers. Imagine a priest or deacon in a church trying to keep someone's attention, forcing others to follow the moral code of religion. "Return to the church." Give the money to the church. And so on. Here the same thing: the cheaper it is to produce things for which there is a clear demand, the greater the importance of attracting attention, human resources and charitable donations, and simply motivation to work. Many professions in the future will be a mixture of what makes people feel proud of themselves or remorse. And again, all this rests in the presence of a clear understanding of the elements of human psychology.

“There is no shortage of information, it all depends on the desire to work with it”


Eric:
You paid a lot of attention to such a personality trait as honesty. There has now been a wide discussion of such non-cognitive skills, for example, in Paul Tuff's books “How Children Succeed” and “Angela Duckworth's Work” . Can you talk about how integrity will become increasingly important in the future?

Tyler:
Paul Tough wrote a very interesting book, mainly about the return to stamina. He has a very suitable surname for this (note: Tough translated from English means "hardy"). Here's a quick look at this: the more information you have, the more you will gain if you just want to sit down and find some use. There is no shortage of information, it all depends on the desire to work with it. Therefore, if you are a native of, say, China or India, and you are really smart and have a high level of motivation, you are much more likely to succeed in this new world than it was, for example, 10 or 20 years ago.

But in more prosperous countries there are many people whom I would not call lazy, they simply do not differ in superstrong motivation. They think they are able to more or less make ends meet and be normal. It seems to me that these people have already faced a relative reduction in salaries, because in reality they are not as valuable employees as they think. Everything will be fine with them. They will always be able to find work, but they are not threatened by income growth. And I think this can be an unpleasant discovery for many.

Eric:
Given the vision for the future presented in “The Middle Aged”, what should today's students specialize in and what skills do they need to work on?

Tyler:
It all depends on what you know how to do, what you have a penchant for, and what you like. If you do not enjoy abstractly good work, then I will not push you along this path. Firstly, you will become unhappy, and secondly, you will not show any abilities. Let me emphasize the point: it seems to me that there will be many so-called humanitarian program sources, theoretically capable of bringing good income to diligent and smart workers. I do not mean to say that everyone should become programmers, especially since a huge proportion of such work can be performed by third-party organizations or entrusted to “intelligent” machines.
Therefore, I would simply draw attention to the fact that the value of understanding another person’s thought acquired in the process of obtaining a specialized education is very great. But only if you like it and you have obvious tendencies for such activities. We should not massively engage in computer science. However, of course, many people should think about it.

Eric:
But even those who don’t do this still need to learn to “obey machines”?

Tyler:
GPS is a good example. GPS is imperfect, but usually imperfections are in us, not in the GPS program. The more we rely on intelligent machines, the more you want to use them. And this leads to the fact that we make our environment easier and, to some extent, meaningless, more literal. So that everything can be sorted out and explained, such as, for example, entering information about what is happening on a chessboard into a computer. Therefore, I think this is the path in which changes will occur in the world, as well as the roads will change to become suitable for unmanned vehicles. But for the most part we are not ready for this. It seems to me that change is a huge plus, but to some extent, the world will become uglier and seem dumber. It resembles an auxiliary menu. You can do everything right by simply pressing the keys. But it annoys people. In general, you get better service and a cheaper product than with the old system with mercenary operators, but, as you know, many people do not like such a system.

Do not use force, Luke


Eric:
In the book, you also discuss an application based on artificial intelligence, which is able to give recommendations in the field of social or romantic relationships, for example, when exactly should someone be kissed on a date. Do you think romantics will give up on this? People who do not want to apply scientific knowledge in these areas of their lives?

Tyler:
I assume that there will be half such people. But those who obey the machines can succeed. They will get a better chance of a successful marriage. Their dates will be more successful. They will kiss or do what the car will advise on time. Their portfolio will be better. Their diets will be more effective. Whatever the matter, I always expect that about half of humanity will not want to obey.

Eric:
Interesting. So it is not so much “able” to obey the car as “wanting” to use its advice. Philosophical question.

Tyler:
Right. I assume that this is due to humility, because the machine many times will make it clear what to do. Therefore, you will not need to learn to read on tea leaves if you learn to use the machine. But often she will give advice that will seem wrong. She will say: “Hey, you live in Manhattan. Go on a date with this New Jersey guy. ” And you are like: “Oh, New Jersey. And I live in Manhattan. " On average, if this happens, someone will decide: “Why not try it?” But the whole point of the machine is that it goes against your intuition, which is far from perfect. Therefore, of course, many will think: “Oh, I know that cars are right, but they do not understand me. This computer has never been to New Jersey. So let him go there himself. ” And then they will run to Brooklyn.

Eric:
The culmination of Star Wars immediately occurred to me. Obi-Wan's ghost tells Luke: “Turn off the host computer and use force. Trust yourself. Do not use a computer. " The secular religion preached by Hollywood, calls for always following your feelings and intuition - and what you say is diametrically opposed to this.

Tyler:
True, Obi-Wan also tells Luke: "Finish your studies in the Dagoba system." Right? How many times did he tell him that? Yoda tells him. Yoda. What does Luke do? He asks Yoda to stop annoying him. So I think people are programmed to be a little rebellious and out of control. But at the same time they are well aware that the rest are trying to control them in the same way as they do them. But this means that in the new conditions that we have not yet encountered in the course of evolution, we can destroy a lot. Just like Luke, who did not complete his studies in the Dagoba system.

PS We recommend another article on the topic - Career tips for representatives of the Millennium generation: 10 ways to get a job.

Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult

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