Ray Kurzweil is great and he established Singularity University.
Here they teach CEOs how to anticipate technology change when embarking on a longer term project.
How about XM radio for example. By the time they launched all those satellites the world has changed… People just hook up their iPhones and won’t pay a subscription fee for commercial free music channels. (Maybe I’m wrong… Maybe they do, and its just me who is the cheap bastard, but that’s not the point). The point is SU builds awareness about the exponential rate of technology change.
Those technology projects are only a couple of years long.
The longest project that affects the most people is putting their kids through the school system. That is like 12 years plus yet another school that actually gives some degree or teaches a profession. That’s a lot of time towards the singularity.
I follow thought leaders who are rightfully bashing the school system for its lack of nurturing creativity and individualism. What concerns me more is how much we have zero idea of what the world will look like when these kids graduate. Are we sure we are teaching them the right skills?
I used to tell my daughters that if they don’t study they will drive the garbage truck. — There is of course nothing wrong with that… Except for it not being most people’s dream job ;-)
Then I realized it is no longer true. It’s only 2014 and driverless cars are street legal in California and two other states and new models are getting demoed and built as I write these lines. Chances are good in 2026 the garbage trucks can drive themselves and there will be no need for people to drive them. Oops. One more reason to do your homework.
Certain fields are getting disrupted already. For example math education. math =/= calculation. Check out computerbasedmath.org
Or think about French Immersion programs. I do believe there is some meta benefit of learning languages… But it’s practicality will be reduced by gizmos that will automatically translate for you. Just check out what Google Translate can do today, and extrapolate it 12 years ahead — exponentially. You get babel-fish.
So what interests me is how to transform or augment education to prepare children for the future, knowing that
The future is not what it used to be.
I came up with the name Singularity Preschool, to play a joke on the words of the phrase “Singularity University”. Then I changed it for “Warmer Sun” ;-)