Primitive hunter-gatherers, given the broad range of tasks they had to carry out to survive, have a skill set more immune to the “cognitive” smarts of new AI technologies than a highly educated, highly specialized service worker! This reveals something about both the nature of AI and the nature of the division of labor in contemporary capitalism. It helps us understand that AI systems are best viewed as idiot savants, not Renaissance Men.
As machines creep ever further into work that requires thinking and judgment, human creativity, interpretation, emotions, and reasoning will become increasingly important. STEM may just lead to its own obsoleteness, and in doing so increases the value of professionals trained in the humanities.
SUNY Albany, Stanley Fish, and the Enemy Within
The President of SUNY Albany has just decided to close its programs in French, Italian, Classics, Russian, and Drama. Here’s a great idea: let’s tell him he did the right thing!