Talking Points: Are degree programmes in subjects like AI better to study than traditional courses like history?

Talking Points: Are degree programmes in subjects like AI better to study than traditional courses like history?

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

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Is history outdated?
Photo: Winson Wong/SCMP

Yeung Lok-yi, 16, Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College

No, I don’t think so. First of all, not everyone is suited to studying technology-oriented subjects such as AI and programming, so we shouldn’t force everyone to study something they’re not interested in or aren’t good at. Studying traditional subjects like history and literature has a number of benefits. It allows us to trace back how society has developed throughout the ages, and allows us to look back on the mistakes we’ve made in the past and learn from them, which is just as important as looking at how we can improve the future.

Ip Hoi-yan, 15, Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College

Cities around the world are becoming more digital and technology-oriented, even reading, shopping and money have become digitised. Therefore, I think it is smarter for people to study more modern subjects such as computer programming or coding, rather than studying subjects like history which will become redundant soon, so that it will be easier for them to find a job in the future.

Talking Points: Should AI technology be used to assess student essays?

Cheng Lai-hang, 17, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

Yes, I believe it is. Learning AI would be very useful in the future. It can be applied to a wide range of fields, not only to create smartphones or smart home devices, but even history, too. So if you believe subjects like history is important then maybe you should be thinking how we can use technology to make it more accessible. Perhaps you could create a robot that can automatically tell you when in history something happened.

Cheung Pui-sze, 16, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

I think it’s better to study modern subjects such as AI because it is more relevant now, which means you’d be more likely to find more jobs in that field in the future. I believe there is a high chance that many traditional jobs will be taken over by robots, so it’s better to specialise in more modern fields.

Tsoi Wing-lam, 16, Kwun Tong Government Secondary School

i don’t think courses in AI are more important to traditional courses because history and culture give value to human beings. Through subjects like history, we are able to learn from the past, which is just as important as looking to the future.

Talking Points: What are you most worried about for the next school year?

Marco Ng, 16, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

I don’t think one is better than the other. I think we need both modern and traditional subjects because I believe it’s necessary for a community to have people with a diverse set of skills in order for it to function. We need people who know how to develop new technologies as much as we need people who know what’s been done before in the past; what’s worked, and what hasn’t worked.

Hung Tsz-ching, 15, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

Yes, it is. Traditional subjects like history are not only boring, but they aren’t very practical either. Memorising dates or names of people who lived hundreds of years ago is not knowledge we can really use to improve society. Learning things like AI and programming would be more useful now, and could help people in the future.

Sze Tsang-tsang, 16, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

I think it is equally important to study modern subjects as it is to study traditional subjects like history. We can’t learn all the same thing, and it’s better if people in society had different skills. People who specialise in history can help those who specialise in computer programming and AI to create something amazing.

Talking Points: Should students be required to complete homework over the summer?

Elly Chong, 17, Pooi To Middle School

It is undeniable that we are depending on technology more and more. So much so that technology is even taking over people’s jobs. This is not a bad thing, it just means that we must focus on studying for occupations that won’t be obsolete in the future.

This is not to say, however, that we should forget history all together. Traditional subject are generally easier to learn on your own by simply reading books. So why don’t we just study the more complicated subject in school and teach ourselves the easier ones in our own time.

Stanley Leung Ho-fung, 16, Kwun Tong Government Secondary School

From what I can tell, studying modern subjects such as AI and Stem would increase students’ future career prospects. I also believe learning how to programme computers and work with technology will be more useful to us in this digital day, and age and make life more convenient.


In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should parents be forced by law to give their children a set amount of pocket money each week?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Are degree programmes in subjects like AI better to study than traditional courses like history?

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