Basic education needed for uncertain future occupation

We fear that artificial intelligence – AI – will be taking away jobs from us in a big way. Although similar concerns were raised during the days when robots were introduced to the factory floor to automate manufacturing – in truth, the impact to the availability of human jobs was not significantly affected. But this time we now increasingly fear that jobs for humans will finally be threatened by technology – by AI, purely because technological development is far outpacing our ability to learn and adapt to new things. The jobs we know today may no longer be relevant in the future. Will there be new jobs or occupation in the future in such AI driven economy? And we know that it will not be easy for us to be retrained, reskilled – to unlearn and relearn new things. Thus, this begs the question of what kind of education should our children be given in order to survive in this uncertain future? Perhaps we should forget about teaching the next generation biology, physics, law, accounting etc. Perhaps we should teach them even more fundamental skills and habits such as reading, creativity, empathy, adaptability, curiousity, research, learning, problem-solving, interaction and the likes. What do you think?

AI and the destruction of human kind

We’ve seen a number of the intelligentsia, entrepreneurs and celebrities warn us of the threat of Artificial Intelligence. Pop culture too can be mined for such images and warnings of the dangers of AI. One then has to wonder how much of this is true and how much of it is some form of paranoia. However, if you were to watch some YouTube videos of interviews with AI Robots – some appear downright creepy and even seeming to indicate that humans are the problem. At this point, we cannot be sure if this was said tongue-in-cheek (I cannot read robot humour), or simply something scripted, or worryingly something based on those robots’ logical conclusion. Perhaps those robots were simply telling the truth based on their logical conclusion based on the evidence. If this is so, what should be our actions before it is too late? Should we ban AI? Should AI be regulated with some form of Asimovian Law of Robotics? Or should Human Kind simply try to prove itself (to the AI robots) that we are the solution, and NOT the problem – as it appears being concluded by the AI. Can we even achieve this within the short space of time before the singularity?

Refocusing the cellphone – we want a not so smart phone with *long battery life*.

Smart phone, dumb battery.

That is the current pain point many of us will be familiar with. We all have very powerful and capable phones, but have short battery lives which frequently mean we have to use these many capabilities sparring in order not to end up with a dead phone when you most need it.

The introduction of fast charging helps in part.

But why can’t designers design phones that lasts longer? This is pretty much the appeal of so-called dumb phones which typically lasts days or weeks.

So I would like to propose a few ideas to address this. So here goes.

  1. Bigger battery. D’uh. We don’t need ever slimmer phones. It is ok for phones to be a little thick to allow for longer battery life.
  2. Monochrome screens – no fancy stuff, just light colour text on black backgrounds a’la the Punkt MP01 phone. This should reduce a lot of the energy requirement by the screen. We can keep the touch screen ability too. 
  3. Lock down services. We still like the google services like contacts, calendars etc, so we would like to keep this – but lock down other apps, notifications and stuff from the google play store. Perhaps it is worth dumbing-down the phone a bit, and leave only the essential google apps to allow you to get through the week without charging. All apps will need to conform to the monochrome requirement.
  4. A flip phone with both an OLED and EPD (electronic paper display) screens. The YotaPhone does this quite well, but shame it didn’t catch on.
  5. If you must have a browser – strip it down to only test / readability / instapaper mode. i.e. disable the rich graphics and animations – just deliver a browser that presents you with just the text that you want to read. Better if it is also presented on the EPD screen.
  6. Have a nice robust design, but don’t make it too expensive. The Punkt MP01 phone is a very nice phone, but I think the price point is more than what many will be willing to pay for. 

How Simplicity Can Help Creativity, Briefly

simplicity

source site – How Simplicity Can Help Creativity, Briefly

The judicious application of simplicity can help someone to create, whether that’s writing, creating art, designing, teaching, starting a small business, or in some other way making ideas take shape into reality.

People who want to create are hampered by complications — tools that are too complicated, projects that are too overwhelming, the distractions of the modern world, too many cooks, too many options, too busy.

Simplify, and many of these problems go away.

Clearing clutter is a great way to create space for new ideas, thoughts and creativity.

The hectic information age is generally bad news for creativity. We cannot run away from 24/7 service, technologies and communication. However, we can strive to do less in every area that we work on. Find non-value adding stuff. Ruthlessly chop them off.

Use technology to simplify.

Challenge everything we do. Why do we do things we’ve being doing all this while?