The Future is Right Brained - Why?

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was getting ready to surrender myself to a cosy sofa under the guidance of some underrated boring Malayalam cinema which usually gets my attention except on Sunday afternoons. Then my phone rang. It was my childhood friend who was working for an American company from Bangalore, and now thanks to Corona, working from his newfound Airbnb home at Kodaikanal.

I was too lazy to pick up his call and yet picked it up, considering the fact that he was lazier a person than me. It seems that he has been at work without a break ever since the advent of the corona.

His remuneration has grown multifold considering the fact that he was one of the senior coders of the organisation. He said one thing which never left me. He said, "things are changing fast, Sanu. I am coding for something which is being created to replace me. Artificial Intelligence is here already."

It Is interesting to note that Corona has not only made individuals revisit their bucket list, but it also made companies rejig their way of functioning. With the advent of work from home culture, many changes are being witnessed in the corporate sector, especially the information technology side.

The objective of this blog is to address how these changes can influence the future of professions. A professional qualification today, will it be of any relevance tomorrow when AI and Robotics can replace most of the professionals' jobs?

I wanted to deliberate this blog with respect to the functioning of the Human Brain – The Left Side and the Right Side. Which side of the brain will lead the future?

The Brain

While today we know that every activity we engage in requires cooperation between the right and left hemispheres, we are also aware that each hemisphere takes the dominant role in certain activities. Generally, we can say that the left hemisphere focuses on breaking things into details, while the right hemisphere is in charge of providing the broader picture.

These differing roles can be seen, for instance, in the context of language use. Much of our language originates in the left hemisphere, where we process symbols in sequence (for example, when reading). However, the right hemisphere also plays a vital role by allowing us to take a step back from the language itself and interpret the context of the message. Without our right cerebral hemisphere, we would not be able to understand irony or metaphors.

Reasoning is another area where the hemispheres have different, complementary roles:

Responses that originate from the left are derived from what we have learned in the past. If someone points a gun at you, it's the left hemisphere that tells you to be alarmed because you have learned that guns are dangerous.

On the other hand, the right hemisphere doesn't recognize the gun, but it can draw on more intuitive knowledge and recognize other signs of danger, like an angry facial expression. The fact that all cultures tend to interpret facial expressions similarly illustrates how natural and intuitive these functions of the right hemisphere are.

The Rise and the rise of the Left Side Brain

Ever since we discovered that the left side of the brain is responsible for more analytical tasks, it has been viewed as being of greater importance than the right side.

First of all, it was once thought that because the left hemisphere allows people to solve analytical tasks, it must be the side that separates us from animals.

Second, we know that the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, responsible for many important movements in a world where most people are right-handed and where Western language is written from left to right.

Left-Directed Thinking is thought to draw on traits from the left hemisphere, meaning it is sequential, literal, functional, textual and analytic. These traits would then also dominate a Left-Directed thinker's approach to life.

On the other hand, Right-Directed Thinking would be characterized by being simultaneous, metaphorical, aesthetic, contextual, and synthetic – all traits of Right-Directed thinkers.

Much as the left side of the brain has been appreciated more than the right, Left-Directed Thinking has been viewed as the more successful approach to life. This can be seen on a societal level – for example, in the exams students take. These exams reward linear, sequential thinking for arriving at a single correct answer in the time allotted and thus teach students to reason like computers.