We Are All Creatives: A Manifesto of Humanity in the Age of Automation

Mike Sturm
4 min readNov 7, 2017

By recent estimates, something like 47% of jobs face the threat of being automated over the next 20 years. That means that what was once done by humans alone will now be done by a machines and algorithms.

As more of that 47% becomes a reality, all eyes are fixated on that other 53% — the stuff that we used to think was solely the realm of human capacities. If you go back as far as Aristotle and the early scientists, it was reason that made humans unique in the world. And until humans built machines that could use the same logic they do, that was true.

c/o McKinsey & Co.

Now it isn’t reason that sets humans apart. We learn to reason the same way that machines do; after all, we taught them how to do it. We are becoming sympatico in that respect. Only now, machines can already do it faster and more efficiently. They can take the inputs that we take, and make judgments more quickly — allowing for faster implementation of decisions, often without humans even being involved.

So what’s left for us humans? And how do we ensure that the remaining 53% of jobs keep their essential human elements?

Rationality is No Longer an Advantage, but Creativity Is

It used to be that reason was the uniquely human trait. It was what separated us from the other complex organisms. Since the advent of sophisticated computers, that trait seems to have been perfected by the machines. With computers being able to “think through” problems and solve them, reasoning has become the arena in which humans consistently come in second place.

That means that it is not rationality — logical thinking — but creative thinking where humans have the edge. We humble humans may be slowed down by tricky syllogisms, but only we can make up ideas from whole cloth. Only we can throw off the shackles of established thought.

Creativity is really an inclination more than anything. It’s a mode of thinking — one that refuses to take on assumptions without question, that looks for the new and untested rather than the…



Mike Sturm

Creator: https://TheTodaySystem.com — A simpler personal productivity system. Writing about productivity, self-improvement, business, and life.