Tuesday 23 October 2018
Over the years a number of parents have asked me whether they should steer their children away from IT/programming careers in case those jobs are automated away in the future. I tell them that the nature of programming work will continue to change but programming will be one of the last jobs to be fully automated; if and when computers don't need to be programmed by people, they will be capable of almost anything. (It's not clear to me why some people are led to believe programming is particularly prone to automation; maybe because they see it as faceless?)
Therefore I was annoyed by the headline in the NZ Herald this morning: "Is AI about to unseat our programmers?" Obviously it's deliberate clickbait, and it wasn't chosen by Juha Saarinen, whose article is actually quite good. But I'm sure some of the parents I've talked to, and many others like them whom I'll never know, will have fears reinforced by this headline and perhaps some people will be turned away from programming careers to their detriment, and the detriment of New Zealands's tech industry.