I would argue that you’ve had one big trick that humans figured out over the last 500 years. Before computers, it was fossil fuels.
But now we’re discovering how to pull free mental work out of the ground. That’s going to be a huge trick over the next 50 years.
The idea that you can pull free physical work out of the ground, that was a really good trick, and it resulted in all of these exponential curves. But now we’re discovering how to pull free mental work out of the ground. [using Artificial Intelligence]
That’s going to be an equivalent, huge trick over the next 50 years. It’s going to create that same kind of inflection point, and it’s going to create even more opportunity and much more displacement.
I have a hard time understanding how the way that we best prepare the next generation for that future, is to have literally all of education policy, all of education decisions determined by folks that don’t really have a foot in that world.
I’m not saying that all of the sudden, “Oh, it’s about software.” The worst use of software in technology is in replacement of humans. This whole, “Oh, I give an iPad to a kid, and I walk away.” That’s craziness. AR and VR, that’s not going to be it, either.
It’s about human beings. It’s about the relationship that kids have with their peers, with adults. That’s what creates the motivation that creates the learning, but it seems odd to me that the purpose of school is to prepare kids for the future, and you don’t have people in the mix thinking about education or education policy, who are very familiar with the future at all.
[In a typical school setting] you say, “OK, well, I can’t grade 20 different demonstrations of knowledge that come back from 20 different kids, so I’m going to standardize, I’m going to say, ‘This is the way I’m going to test you, so that I can grade it quickly,’” you’re essentially training kids to think like computers. There’s an irony ... you’re training humans to do the kind of thinking that computers are getting better and better and better at doing.
You have an education system that was created for a mass production era, and now we’re in a mass customization era. You have a traditional education system that’s all about turning generalist agrarian producers into specialized consumers of goods and information. We’re entering an era where being a producer of knowledge, being a producer of goods, being a producer of jobs is the way to be successful. It is the way to be happy, and it’s possible because you have these unbelievable platforms that have been created that elevate the individual through the combination of digital technology and society.