The growing importance of social skills in the labour market

Sorry, robots – Wage growth is greatest in jobs that require strong social skills

Skills and Work

By Stijn Broecke.

Last month, chatbot Rose won the 2015 Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence (AI) – an annual contest in which machines try to fool judges into believing that they are human. While Rose ranked the most human-like bot by three of four judges, it failed to fool any of them into thinking it was a real person.

While this may be disappointing news for those working in the world of AI, it is good news for those who are worried that robots will one day steal our jobs. Indeed, while some analysts believe that half of our jobs are at risk of being computerised over the next two decades (Frey and Osborne, 2013), others are much less pessimistic (Boning, Gregory and Zierahn, 2015). The fact remains that robots have persistently failed to imitate the most human of skills, such empathy, teamwork, relationship building, etc.

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