Good And Bad News – Snippets Of Tech Development Around The World

I will keep you abreast of the latest technology developments around the world.  These snippets will serve as examples to help us to understand the larger trends at play.

And as in any technology change, there will probably be the bad as well as the good.  I will share my own take on it.

Medicine

 

Good news for patients!  Greater accuracy and I suspect lower cost too.

Good news for good doctors as AI will make them even better!   What about the mediocre doctors?

As AI can free up more time for good doctors, the mediocre ones better watch out!

Farming

 

There is a labour shortage in farming.  This could potentially lead to a food crisis.

Not many people want to be farmers.  It is also difficult to harvest crops when you have a shortage of labour e.g. strawberry pickers.

AI is the solution.

The irony is that those who are willing to work as strawberry pickers will also be out of a job as a result.

Not so good for them.  But good for the farmers and the consumers.

I am now reminded of when machines took over the weaving of cloth and the manufacture of clothing.  Weavers lost their jobs.  But the cost of clothing went down dramatically making it more affordable to clothe the world.

Education

This is not a technology development per se but educationists are now talking about stackable degrees.  It is a response to accelerating change brought about by technology developments.  It means that the student accumulates credit for courses taken over time (maybe even a lifetime) which can be converted to a degree when sufficient credits are collected.

Makes sense.  I bought several Udemy courses in online course creation and marketing.  I did not complete any of them.  But I learnt quite a lot – and only what I needed.

One of the courses was on digital marketing covering Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin etc.  I only needed to learn about marketing via Linkedin simply because of my target audience.  Instagram may not be appropriate for me at this time.  If I eventually decide I need to learn about Instagram marketing, I will come back to it then.  Just-in-time learning if you will.

I mean, do I really need to waste time learning something I do not need or that is irrelevant at this time in order to just complete a course.

Some people raised concern about the rise in online enrollment but not graduation – because the rate of completion is lower for online courses.  My opinion? Get over it!  If I graduate because I am forced to go to classes that I do not need – what’s the point?  And when I need it later, things might have changed!

Hence stackable degrees!

Now don’t get me wrong.  I do not want us to be short-sighted focusing exclusively on the short term.  We cannot just focus on skills needed at the moment and which will be become obsolete quickly.  We also need to think about life-skills and lifelong employability.  (Also see Jack Ma’s video below).

This is where the difference between a great teacher and a mediocre one becomes more obvious.  A great teacher helps me see that, even though I do not need a particular life skill immediately, it is important for my future.

This whole development is good for students and for great teachers who teach relevant stuff.  Not so good for mediocre teachers who have a job because students were forced to take their classes to graduate.

Warehousing

 

Good for businesses like Alibaba and customers.  Not so good for warehouse workers.

Transportation

At one time, people thought self-driving cars were not possible because driving required human judgement – something that machines do not have!

Well, all the self-driving car needs to know are the laws of physics, not human judgement per se.  These cars do not have to think like humans to drive.

Good for car owners…not so good for those earning an income through driving.

Jack Ma At World Economic Forum – What Should We Teach Our Kids

 

Key takeway: teach them things that machines cannot do!

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