Industrialised societies face their greatest threat, since the cold war, from an ‘intelligence’ that already outperforms the human competition in many fields and which threatens to replace millions of workers.
True, the same question – what do we do in the face of automation? – recurs with every so-called technology revolution.
But this is the biggest challenge of them all.
This means more than simply training or retraining for a viable career. It means looking hard at what it means to be human and how our humanity can help us understand the future of work.
So how do you acquire the soft skills required for greater empathy, collaboration and communication?
Learning a language is the magic bullet that hits all these targets. Language learners are more open minded, generally earn higher salaries and are better problem solvers.
What's more learning a language online, is now easier than ever, with many companies offering face-to-face learning with teachers - and fellow students - from all over the world.
Sure, learning a language can be tough and there are ups and downs.
But there is no greater thrill than when you speak a new language fluently and confidently in real-life, with real people.
Especially when it is helping you safeguard your job against AI and automation.
When it comes to acquiring soft skills, learning a language delivers on all of them. It boosts basic cognitive abilities including intelligence and memory. At the same time, it encourages people to be creative, flexible and use their imagination to solve problems. It’s also a genuinely useful skill in itself. We live in an increasingly globalised, connected world where the ability to speak a second language opens the door to new opportunities within the business. In short, it opens the door to new career opportunities, relationships, and even the chance to live and work in another country. It’s good for your well-being too. Multi-linguists are higher earners, more open-minded and better at solving problems. Learning a language also forces to you to concentrate, focus and live in the moment. It’s a deeply mindful experience in a world of constant distractions.