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Developing Skills for a New Era of Robots

This page will be an experimental page on the topic of new skills for the age of Robots. Except, there’s not much out there other than dire news about 47% of jobs being taken over by automation within the next 10 years. So what kind of skills are we going to need? I don’t know.

Resistance is FutileI have come across only two books and zero articles that discusses what we might need as skills in the coming new future.What might they be? One centers on the right hemisphere of the brain, what I call the more artsy side. The other centers on the heart and connection with people, which could probably be on the right side of the brain too.

Of the two books I’ve found, I’m starting off with Marty Neumeier’s Metaskills. Here’s part of his prologue which I will quote because I love his thinking:

This book is about personal mastery in a time of radical change. As we address our increasing problems with increasing collaboration, we’re finding that we still need something more – the bracing catalyst of the individual genius.
Unfortunately, our educational system has all but ruled out genius. Instead of teaching us to create, it’s taught us to copy, memorize, obey and keep score. Pretty much the same qualities we look for in machines. And now the machines are taking out jobs.


Therein lies our issue: most jobs are about copying, memorizing, obeying and keeping score, not about creating. Another useful quote to keep in mind that Neumeier borrows from Rudyard Kipling and trots out on page 11 of the hardcover version is:

They copied all they could follow
but they couldn’t copy my mind.
So I left ’em sweating and stealing,
a year and a half behind.


We basically need to become original creators.





Marty Neumeier 5 SkillsSunday, October 12 – He identifies what he thinks will be the 5 skills necessary in the new era of Robots:

  1. Feeling – empathy, intuition and social intelligence;
  2. Seeing – the ability to think in whole thoughts or systems thinking;
  3. Dreaming – applied imagination;
  4. Making – mastering the design process, including skills for making prototypes;
  5. Learning – the ability to learn new skills

[Marty Neumeier, Metaskills, p 36, hardcover]

None of these skills have anything to do with computation, memorization, copying, or even analysis.

He also says that interweaved amongst the skills will be the need for aesthetics. That’s so true: in a world full of robots and computers, we are going to need something that sings to our hearts and souls. This is where art or aesthetics comes in. Now I have to admit that the computer art that I see are not very inspiring. They tend to be sci-fy or fantasy drawings that just does not do anything for me. (But they do show great skill, especially in the rendering of the human body.) I hope we will continue to see the usual art made by hand or a new style of digital art that’s a bit more “artsy” rather than digital.