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Since the invention of the wheel, humans have developed tools to make work easier. The last centuries, we focused on making physical labour lighter and less time-consuming. With the invention of the computer, we have started to let smart machines do our ‘thinking labour’ as well. Who will be skilled enough to operate the future generation of smart machines?

Spreadsheets on our PC’s do calculations, navigation apps on our smartphones tell us how to get to where we want to go. Today’s wave of artificial intelligence (AI) will bring this a giant step further.

In the not so far future, cars will do most of the driving. Intelligent machines will do most of the medical diagnosis, bookkeeping, journalism and legal work, to name just a few examples.

It is often said that artificial intelligence — and robots, for that matter — will take away our jobs. I don’t believe so. I do believe that AI and smart machines will change the content of our work dramatically.

It always starts with simple work

The nature of the change process is always the same. It is a sort of “skimming from below”. It starts with simple activities — often laughed at by critics and non-believers. Then, after a …

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