“We all need to think creatively to thrive in a new digital world.”

What differentiates us from robots? This may sound like a silly question but, as technology advances at a sometimes bewildering rate, it could in fact be the most important question of all. The advance of robots and artificial intelligence is already changing the job market immeasurably. Jobs which once needed a skilled person in post can be automated. Soon, there may be very few things which machines cannot do at least as well, if not better – and more cheaply – than their human counterparts. If, as PwC predicts, as many as 30 per cent of UK jobs are at risk of being taken over by robots and AI by 2030, how do we prepare the children in our charge for this?

Creativity and creative thinking appear to be beyond the capacity of artificial intelligence. These skills –already highly-valued by employers – are what we need to be focussing on developing. In the future, they may be what makes a human ‘worth’ employing over a robot.

At Headington, we’ve been considering this for some time. Work is underway on a new Creativity & Innovation Centre, the new home for Fine Art, Sculpture, Photography, and Fashion Textiles at Headington, and a hub for cross-curricular learning with a focus on sustainability, enterprise and technology. Last year, our girls explored artificial intelligence, machine learning and Art, working with the world’s first ultra-realistic AI artist, Ai-Da, considering what it is to be human. It takes a human touch to come up with something new, to take a wider view and to be truly creative and young minds are uniquely placed to do this.

While there will always be a value to having a good knowledge base, the fact we have access to vast quantities of information at our fingertips means this is far less significant than it once was. We all need to think creatively to thrive in a new dital world.

Caroline Jordan is Headmistress of Headington School