Reading this article on The Week made me consider whether our valuable transferable skills developed while gaining higher level qualifications at University might be under threat. Will computers soon be able to not only solve complex problems, analyse, critically assess but even provide perception and insight at extremely high levels? An AI machine ‘AlphaGo’ has beaten man at the ancient Chinese board game Go. This requires both logic and intuition. Of course there needs to be many human examples to provide the knowledge base and numerous possibilities to be programmed but it makes for exciting times ahead in terms of artificial intelligence. There have been reports for a while now on the threat to the employment market. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington in February 2016, Professor Vardi said “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task. I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us”. Recent predictions suggest that intelligent machines could replace humans in many sectors of the economy within 30 years. However, don’t lose heart, it just might mean we humans have to embrace increased leisure time!

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