High Concept High Touch

This reading seems to expand on something that my father told me years ago. I was always a creative type, with a knack for painting and textile arts. My father recognized this and told me that when he was young, being an artist wasn’t lucrative, but by the time I enter the workforce having a creative mind will be like inheriting a fortune.

This idea makes sense. After taking my Computer Science class, I soon learned that, although a computer can automate certain things and create beautiful masterpieces, it is limited to its programming. A computer is only capable of seeing black and white, yes or no, because it runs on a system of “true” or “false”. It runs like a flow chart with parameters that a human programs. Is A true? Then do B. If A is false, do C. This is the basic idea. A computer does not have the capacity to leave the realm of what the human has programmed for it. Computers can “learn”, but they are still limited to what a human tells them is true and false. They have no concept of a “gray area”.

It only makes sense that tasks that can be automated, will be automated. With increasing globalization, even tasks that can’t be automated, like building a website for example, can be done cheaper overseas. This shifts what work is considered “valuable” and what is not. We now have an older generation baffled and distraught over the fact that labor and grunt work that was once considered valuable is now being shipped overseas. We’ve seen this outrage in political campaigns, where politicians promise to bring back American jobs. But the tides cannot be brought back once they have shifted. This leaves tasks that require interpersonal relationships and creative skills at a high value. As someone in the creativity field, this fact is comforting.