Expecting the Unimagined, Preparing for the Obvious

September 6th, 2017

expecting unimagined

By Michael Solomon, 10x Management Co-Founder 

While I completely applaud the idea of preparing for the unexpected and certainly educating and preparing for the constant change that will come in the future, I also think we need to prepare for the things we see. A jobless future is not on the distant horizon and it is not merely a theory, but seemingly an inevitability in the short run that requires immediate planning and policy. The author of this article in the New York Times acknowledges the need for discussion around the day after labor but falls short of demanding action in the near-term on that particular topic. I believe that is a dangerous miscalculation. Check out an excerpt of the article below, and let me know your thoughts:

Preparing for the unknown is not as hard as it may seem, though it implies fundamental shifts in our policies on education, employment and social insurance.

Take education. Were we to plan for specific changes, we would start revamping curriculums to include skills we thought would be rewarded in the future. For example, computer programming might become even more of a staple in high schools than it already is. Maybe that will prove to be wise and we will have a more productive work force.

But perhaps technology evolves quickly enough that in a few decades we talk to, rather than program, computers. In that case, millions of people would have invested in a skill as outdated as precise penmanship.

Instead, rather than changing what we teach, we could change when we teach.

Currently, all the formal education most people will receive comes early in life. Specific skills may be learned on the job, but the fundamentals are acquired in school when we are young. This sequence — learn early, benefit for a lifetime — makes sense only in a world where the useful skills stay constant.

 

If you like this article, you might enjoy reading Musical AI: Will Robots Write Symphonies?