How AI and the robotic revolution will change the workplace of tomorrow
The workplace is going to look drastically different ten years from now. The coming of the Second Machine Age is quickly bringing massive changes along with it. Manual jobs, such as lorry driving or house building are being replaced by robotic automation, and accountants, lawyers, doctors and financial advisers are being supplemented and replaced by high level artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
So what do we need to learn today about the jobs of tomorrow? Two things are clear. The robots and computers of the future will be based on a degree of complexity that will be impossible to teach to the general population in a few short years of compulsory education. And some of the most important skills people will need to work with robots will not be the things they learn in computing class.
There is little doubt that the workforce of tomorrow will need a different set of skills in order to know how to navigate a new world of work. Current approaches for preparing young people for the digital economy are based on teaching programming and computational thinking. However, it looks like human workers will not be replaced by automation, but rather workers will work alongside robots. If this is the case, it will be essential that human/robot teams draw on each other’s strengths.
The current UK computing curriculum is not preparing young people for a future of working alongside robots. The curriculum is based around computational thinking and programming. These skills should help pupils understand and use computers. But the reality is the skills and concepts pupils are learning will not prepare them for a robotic future.