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Firstly, no-one is suggesting we get rid of the hard programming. But actually, I disagree with your point of view.

I do research into A.I., and often work with companies. I find problem fall into 3 categories. Approximately:

50% of problems are extremely trivial problems which we've know how to solve for at least 10 years, we just need to help the companies use the existing techniques.

15% of problems require techniques from the last 10 years or so, so require extensive up-to-date expertise but aren't interesting research.

5% of problems are interesting, hard problems which lead to interesting research problems.

30% of problems are so far beyond the state of the art they are impossible.

Helping people in that first 50% solve their problems without having to talk to us is an interesting area. At the moment they use tools like Excel and Microsoft Access. I believe there must be better tools for those problems, which aren't any more complicated. Why can't my mother easily produce (for a concrete example) create and update a schedule for her darts league, without needing me to help?

I took a business analytics class which taught SQL and basic machine learning. We exclusively used an excel plugin, and it was exceptionally easy to get great results. This sounds like something that would help that 50%.

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