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Will programmers become obsolete?

Will programmers become obsolete? Not so fast! Natural language may become the programming language of the future, but “programming” is only part of the puzzle. Success lies in the ability to solve problems. I’m talking about real-life problems, not designing mathematical algorithms like Fermat’s Theorem, and the like.

If we think of “programming” as translating an algorithm into lines of code for a machine to solve a problem, then yes: programmers will become obsolete, and very quickly. But the ability to identify problems and to design solutions (with or without lines of code) will continue to be an intrinsically human skill.

As artificial intelligence (AI) infiltrates everything, desirable skills will move from programming to problem modelling. The challenge for professionals is that this requires a mix of abstraction, logic, creativity, and leadership.

The paradox of AI is that it will make us a thousand times smarter, but many people will struggle to create and contribute value to society.

It is important to understand that the cause of this problem is not the machines, but society’s inability to adapt quickly enough. It is education, hierarchies and regulations that will leave millions of people out of the system, not AI.

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