Will students leaving school or college now, be equipped to enter the AI environment of the future? How do you prepare them now for a future that is nothing like their parents work experience? One could be forgiven for thinking this process of fitting into a new technical era would happen organically, with the entrance of each new generation into the equation. Education, however, is more than acquiring a technical skill. If a well-balanced education is the purpose of schooling, then it is also a shaping and guiding of young minds, unless all we want is for a child to become an extension of the machine. A natural flare for technology is not all we need to function in this new age. There is more than enough advice published in books, blogs and workshops to help anyone to adapt to the AI technical age. Guiding the children still at school or college requires much more.
Adjustments to current systems should combine specific education in technology with broader, more rounded ability to generate creativity, innovation and design.
New ideas are needed that balance non-automated recreation and the prolific use of devices for entertainment. With the use of more advanced automation comes more time. How that time is spent is vital for society on all levels.
Music and the arts will become more significant. Creativity will drive innovation whether it is in the natural sciences, mathematics or design. Focusing on the arts is crucial for developing the creativity required. Allow the dreamer to dream and create.
Without an effort to protect the environment from ourselves, there is no future for the children. An interest in all things environmental must be nurtured. Education in the role of a finely tuned and balanced ecosystem should currently be the most important subject at school with particular focus on how AI will affect the environment. Children are natural explorers and the environment studied through science, design and history will keep their curiosity alive.
Emphasis on entrepreneurship and remote work will require training in personal discipline rather than a discipline that is dictated by external rules and regulations. Getting up daily to open your laptop to start a days work may require that personal push as opposed to what gets you on the bus to work daily - to be on time, to be seen to be working hard and so on.
The importance of making an effort to maintain personal relationships in the time of automation, becomes important for the survival of human culture. How not to live in a personal bubble with no connection to others is vital. This education starts at home but extends into the wider social network and may have to become a specific primary and high school subject and not something to be absorbed osmotically. An environment may have to be created where relationship is a practised and tested subject; laughable as it may now sound.
There will always be industries and areas of employment that require traditional type of work. Ethos, teamwork and corporate formation will change to some degree but will still guide and direct workers who do the necessary work in areas such as education, health and social sciences. Massive mechanical work will become more common for a large part of life in the mechanised automated future. When we accept the changing face of the workplace as inevitable, we will be better prepared for a more uncertain but a more enjoyable environment, where the mechanically easier lifestyle is offset by challenges of new, healthier and more adventurous ways of living for all who embrace change.
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© Lynda Stephen (Lynda Rogle)