Art, Music, and Sports: Future Education for Survival in the Age of AI

News that an AI (artificial intelligence) generated portrait was auctioned for $432,500 has, not surprisingly, shaken people and caused worries about the future of the young generation: in a world where even art pieces are created by AI, how can they survive from the invasion of automation in the labor market?

The war between six crates of old portraits and one piece of blank paper

It is interesting that AI’s Deep Learning technology used a database of 15,000 paintings by real people, then analyzed, and created an image. This set of data can be compared to 30 reams, or 6 crates of painted paper. Certainly, the amount of database used by AI will be a hundred or thousand times bigger in the future.

Meanwhile, humans create artworks using one piece of paper, their imagination, and their creativity, which are limitless.

AI painting (from

My Mom as a bear by See Foon

A.I. = artisans, humans = artists?

AI learns from examples and data. The bigger the set of data, the more accurate it will get. This data processing is usually programmed, which means no bias is involved. However, bias concerns love, hatred, etc. which are emotions and values held by people and which are subjective as well as unique.

Jobs which will be replaced by AI are those of a repetitive nature or that need in-depth analysis, as done by computer processing.  Jobs requiring practiced skills will potentially be done by automation, such as photo sketches, replicas, or reproductions. Meanwhile, creativity, critical thinking, and complex information processing will still be done by humans.

In the future, creators or artists may be able to control and use AI to create artworks from their creativity and never-ending imagination.

One eye Sunshine by See Foon

To teach something unique that machines cannot catch up with

Jack Ma, the renowned business man who founded Alibaba, argued about how to deal with job displacement by automation: “If we do not change the way we teach, 30 years from now we’ll be in trouble. The things we teach our children are things from the past 200 years – it’s knowledge-based. And we cannot teach our kids to compete with machines, which are smarter. We have to teach something unique that machines cannot catch up with us.”

These are Soft Skills involving values, beliefs, independent thinking, teamwork, and care for others. “These are the soft part. The knowledge does not teach you that. I think we should teach our kids sports, music, painting – the arts – to make sure that they are different. Everything we teach should make them different from machines.”

Thinking from past data VS thinking from emptiness to the limitless future

In short, AI thinking happens by using a collection of huge amounts of data from the past while humans possess imagination which comes from nowhere, yet we can build the future however and wherever our imagination takes us.