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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Your art degree might save you from automation, an AI expert says | Quartz

Follow on Twitter as @davegershgorn
"When machines control all the world’s finances and run factory floors, what will humans be left to do?" argues Dave Gershgorn, Artificial intelligence reporter.

Kai-Fu Lee gives us some hope.
Photo: Quartz/ Johnny Simon

We’ll make art, says Kai-Fu Lee, a former Google and Microsoft executive who has since launched VC firm Sinovation Ventures.

“Art and beauty is very hard to replicate with AI. Given AI is more objective, analytical, data driven, maybe it’s time for some of us to switch to the humanities, liberal arts, and beauty,” Lee told Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney during a live Q&A session. “Maybe professions where it’s hard to find a job might be good to study.”

Students now deciding whether to pursue arts or sciences face an uncertain future: While automation is just starting to impact the workforce, Lee believes that 50% of jobs held by humans today will be automated in 10 years, extrapolating from an often-cited 2013 Oxford study. Jobs that require “less than five seconds of thinking” will be among the first to disappear, Lee says. He offers receptionists and factory workers as examples, which have already faced some level of automation. Next will be jobs that rely on crunching numbers, where data is available to make decisions, like bankers, traders, and insurance adjusters.

While art isn’t on Lee’s list of skills that will be replaced by AI, both large tech companies and small startups have dedicated resources to making AI that can generate artistic images, doodles, music, and entertainment. Google’s Magenta project has the sole purpose of developing creative artificial intelligence and is working to make AI sketch, while Sony frequently releases research on generating new music—even actress Kristen Stewart has explored using AI to help her make art.
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Source: Quartz