If you've just graduated college with a liberal arts degree, Mark Cuban has good news for you: When artificial intelligence inevitably takes over the world, your skills might be in higher demand than those of your computer science friends.

On Wednesday, Cuban and Steve Case appeared on Kara Swisher's Recode Decode podcast--and the topic of A.I. came up. "Twenty years from now, if you are a coder, you might be out of a job," Cuban predicted. "Because it's just math and so, whatever we're defining the A.I. to do, someone's got to know the topic. If you're doing an A.I. to emulate Shakespeare, somebody better know Shakespeare."

Cuban acknowledged the importance of coding as a short-term opportunity. Long-term, however, the Shark Tank investor pointed out that A.I. is only as good as the data it's given--meaning the highest-skilled workers in the future will be the ones who can identify "what is right and what is wrong and where biases are."

In February, a Georgia Tech study reported that self-driving cars appeared to strike and kill people with darker skin tones at a higher rate. And last year, Amazon had to shelve its A.I. hiring tool after discovering it was accidentally sexist. Both examples happened due to implicit bias: The algorithms only learned from datasets featuring predominantly white or male people.

The key to fixing such issues in the future, Cuban says, is soft skills. "Creativity, collaboration, communication skills: Those things are super important and are going to be the difference between make or break," he told Swisher.

Published on: May 30, 2019