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Strive Masiyiwa Says Don’t Listen To Nonsense About AI Taking People’s Jobs

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Strive Masiyiwa

You may know of a popular fella by the name Strive Masiyiwa, he’s done some pretty significant things in telecoms both inside and out of Zimbabwe.

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Recently, Mr Masiyiwa took to his Facebook and reflected on the impact that software and subsequently programming and AI have had on our lives over the past few years.

Strive also warned people not to be too afraid of the narrative that people will lose their jobs with the coming of AI, as new jobs will be created. You can read the post below:

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A few years ago I wrote a Facebook Post on what I called the seven most important skills you need to learn now for the future. Do you remember? Here is my original list: 1) prepare a financial ledger; 2) HTML and basic coding; 3) backing up to the cloud; 4) writing a business plan; 5) setting up a website and domain; 6) selling online; and 7) learning a basic craft skill, such as in agriculture or plumbing.

As I said back then, these seven skills will either turn you into the next Jack Ma, or they will help you get a better job, or earn you more money at whatever you do. This is what you should be learning, and teaching, if you want to build Africa’s prosperity.

When you hear me begin to talk about something, it means that I’m actively trying to do something to help Africa. But before I delve into the subject of Muzinda Hub, our venture to train coders, let me take you back a little…

Bill Gates started Microsoft, the company that would make him the richest man in the world, in 1975. I was 14 years old at the time. I did not hear about him until about 1982, when I was a student of engineering and our professor started talking about the “Coming Age of Microcomputers.”

“What do you mean by “microcomputers!?” we asked, totally amazed at the idea that these large computers that filled whole rooms back then, and where only engineers had access, could be made available to ordinary people.

“What will they do with these computers? They don’t have engineering degrees to enable them to understand ‘machine code’ and other high level engineering languages!”

“It will never work; those American guys are nuts!” someone shouted from the back of the class. “These guys are designing new types of computer programming,” the professor explained. “It’s no longer about HARDware but SOFTware (the computer programming).

“It’s not electronic engineers that are needed now, but you guys need to think about using your skills in maths to switch to Computer Programming in these new languages!”

Fast Forward: The new age of “software” gave birth to amazing new companies that transformed everything in society.

Fast Forward: This is 2019 (about 37 years since I first heard the word “microcomputer”). As I look back I see the other extraordinary tech revolutions that followed, such as computers getting smaller and smaller until they’ve become the Smartphone. Their software is unrecognizable now, driven from the “cloud” and on “the edge”.

Writing programs no longer needs a PhD in computer science, although those are the best paid guys on the planet right now (instead of investment bankers)! We now talk of kids as young as five years old “coding”! What is going on?!

If I were in an engineering class at a university today, I know they’d be discussing “Artificial Intelligence” (AI).

A new generation of entrepreneurs will now emerge just like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs did back in the 1980s. And like Jeff Bezos, Tony Ma and Jack Ma they will create amazing businesses to take advantage of the emergence of the mobile Internet.

AI will eventually lead to robots that walk and do amazing things, certainly in most of our lifetimes. But even before, today, there are going to be amazing companies that emerge.

AI is here!

And you are probably using it without stopping to understand why your mobile phone apps can do such clever things! Don’t listen to all this nonsense about AI taking people’s jobs! Hundreds of millions of new types of jobs will be created, just like with other every technology before. AI is the the biggest technology we have ever had:; it bigger than all those technologies put together.

Now to Muzinda Hub:

As I reflected on AI one day, I thought of my time in that university class discussing Bill Gates and “microcomputers”. Back then it all seemed like science fiction! Computers so small they could fit on a desk?! If
they had said even a computer for your pocket, I would have fainted!

Don’t listen to all this nonsense about AI taking people’s jobs! Hundreds of millions of new types of jobs will be created, just like with every other technology before. AI is the biggest technology we have ever had; it’s bigger than all those other technologies put together.

Muzinda Hub?

Yeah, it’s about preparing young Africans for the rise of AI (well, my own small contribution):

Let’s talk. I want to introduce “Mass Coding” skills to equip us for AI industry.

To be continued. . .

Strive Masiyiwa

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Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa (born 1961) is a Zimbabwean born entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of Econet Wireless International a global telecommunications group. In 2002, Masiyiwa made it to the Time Magazine List of Most Influential People, and in March 2014, he was... Read More About Strive Masiyiwa


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5 thoughts on “Strive Masiyiwa Says Don’t Listen To Nonsense About AI Taking People’s Jobs

    1. Lol maybe he doesn’t have the time? Go and ask him on Facebook, it will make for an interesting conversation 😂

  1. Alternative new jobs yes. But that calls for an upgrading of skills and knowledge. What happens to those who only have ‘grade 7’ what jobs will they have? if fork lift driving is operated by robots?

    1. Like the article has mentioned, grade 7 can become coders. It’s all about passion not the qualifications. Passion drives innovations, new companies etc. Do what you love most, why learned people they don’t own companies is because school cripples our/their minds most of the time.

      Our Zimbabwean education is good for workers not for entrepreneurship not because of the subjects but the way our parents and teachers prepare us. Both had the habit of saying go to school and pass so that you get a good job instead of saying go and do accounts so that you will be about to read your company’s financial statements. Imagine if all of us had been thought like that how many entrepreneurs would have come out of Zimbabwe!!!!!

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