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While majoring in computer science isn't a requirement to participate in the Second Machine Age, what skills do liberal arts graduates specifically possess to contribute to this brave new world? Another major oversight in the debate has been the failure to appreciate that a good liberal arts education teaches many skills that are not only valuable to the general world of business, but are in fact vital to innovating the next wave of breakthrough tech-driven products and services. Many defenses of the value of a liberal arts education have been launched, of course, with the emphasis being on the acquisition of fundamental thinking and communication skills, such as critical thinking, logical argumentation, and good communication skills. One aspect of liberal arts education that has been strangely neglected in the discussion is the fact that the humanities and social sciences are devoted to the study of human nature and the nature of our communities and larger societies. Students who pursue degrees in the liberal arts disciplines tend to be particularly motivated to investigate what makes us human: how we behave and why we behave as we do. They're driven to explore how our families and our public institutions-such as our schools and legal systems-operate, and could operate better, and how governments and economies work, or as is so often the case, are plagued by dysfunction. These students learn a great deal from their particular courses of study and apply that knowledge to today's issues, the leading problems to be tackled, and various approaches for analyzing and addressing those problems.
The greatest opportunities for innovation in the emerging era are in applying evolving technological capabilities to finding better ways to solve human problems like social dysfunction and political corruption; finding ways to better educate children; helping people live healthier and happier lives by altering harmful behaviors; improving our working conditions; discovering better ways to tackle poverty; Improving healthcare and making it more affordable; making our governments more accountable, from the local level up to that of global affairs; and finding optimal ways to incorporate intelligent, nimble machines into our work lives so that we are empowered to do more of the work that we do best, and to let the machines do the rest. Workers with a solid liberal arts education have a strong foundation to build on in pursuing these goals. One of the most immediate needs in technology innovation is to invest products and services with more human qualities. with more sensitivity to human needs and desires. Companies and entrepreneurs that want to succeed today and in the future must learn to consider in all aspects of their product and service creation how they can make use of the new technologies to make them more humane. Still, many other liberal arts disciplines also have much to provide the world of technological innovation. The study of psychology, for example, can help people build products that are more attuned to our emotions and ways of thinking. Experience in Anthropology can additionally help companies understand cultural and individual behavioural factors that should be considered in developing products and in marketing them. As technology allows for more machine intelligence and our lives become increasingly populated by the Internet of things and as the gathering of data about our lives and analysis of it allows for more discoveries about our behaviour, consideration of how new products and services can be crafted for the optimal enhancement of our lives and the nature of our communities, workplaces and governments will be of vital importance. Those products and services developed with the keeneSt sense of how they' can serve our human needs and complement our human talents will have a distinct competitive advantage. Much of the criticism of the liberal arts is based on the false assumption that liberal arts students lack rigor in comparison to those participating in the STEM disciplines and that they are 'soft' and unscientific whereas those who study STEM fields learn the scientific method. In fact the liberal arts teach many methods of rigorous inquiry and analysis, such as close observation and interviewing in ways that hard science adherents don't always appreciate. Many fields have long incorporated the scientific method and other types of data driven scientific inquiry and problem solving. Sociologists have developed sophisticated
mathematical models of societal networks. Historians gather voluminous data on centuries-old household expenses, marriage and divorce rates, and world trade, and use data to conduct statistical analyses, identifying trends and contributing factors to the phenomena they are studying. Linguists have developed high-tech models of the evolution of language, and they've made crucial contributions to the development of one of the technologies behind the rapid advance of automation- natural language processing, whereby computers are able to communicate with the accuracy and personality of Siri and Alexa. It's also important to debunk the fallacy that liberal arts students who don't study these quantitative analytical methods have no 'hard' or relevant skills. This gets us back to the arguments about the fundamental ways of thinking, inquiring, problem solving and communicating that a liberal arts education teaches.
Question 12 : How can companies gain an edge in today's era of technological innovation?
According to the passage, "The greatest opportunities for innovation in the emerging era are in applying evolving technological capabilities to finding better ways to solve human problems..." and "One of the most immediate needs in technology innovation is to invest
products and services with more human qualities." Option C sums up both these ideas.
The question is " How can companies gain an edge in today's era of technological innovation? "
Choice C is the correct answer.
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