In search of a career at a time when Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being talked about as the next step, one cannot help but think of the future of the education.
Today everything is about data which was the case even before, but that was the time when we had to have it on record with our handwritten files or typed on a paper or even memorised to be remembered when asked during exams.
Forget the majors, what about the mind when we are overloaded with information in the digital age?
Having a conversation with a veteran from the publishing business with more than three decades of experience in Oman brought about the early days of the business into focus.
He recollected the persons who inspired him and their words and principles that left a lasting memory.
And there is one particular quote that left me thinking even after our conversation concluded. ‘On hearing that his friend’s son had taken up the profession of accounting, this is what one of my seniors had to say — “It is great that he chose the field of accounting because when it comes to marketing a person has to deal with targets, if it is other areas of business then he would have to deal with man, machine and materials. In accounting the work is between man and numbers. It is peaceful!” How true this is,’ the veteran recollected.
Both are problematic when you think of it – both man and machine require maintenance and can be time consuming as well as expensive. That is the same with materials too — they can be defective.
Just when emotional intelligence was gaining momentum in importance almost equal to IQ here is the rush towards AI. It is inevitable and this is the only way forward, but just like traditionalists feared loss of jobs when machines took over moving development further ahead by minimising manual work as seen during the industrial revolution, it is time to worry about man’s intelligence not being able to stand up to the efficiency of AI.
There is however the comfort of having empathy, which humanoids may not posses, but who knows even that might be possible. Logic might be able to conquer emotions. It seems we are evolving towards that direction for how else can we explain or convey condolences with ‘RIP’ or emoticons on social media?
Culturally these were moments that had great importance in each society something that had certain norms to be applied. There were aesthetic sense connected to each courtesy, but today we do not even have the right to spell words right in a text message lest you be considered uncool.
There are some individuals who are classy enough to maintain the habit of writing in the respective language even when there are spell checkers and other resources for suggesting words ending at times with disastrous errors.
And that could be another human quality that might still require because machines can err. Even while studying it has been noted that when we are able to connect emotions with information we
are able to store the matter in our memory. Emotions can be one of our most important assets, but here too we have managed to entangle our
emotions with technology through social media.
Technology is almost becoming our conscience. Social media was to take over from letter writing and speaking on phones. Social media gave us a chance to stay connected with our network. But soon everyone began to enjoy the spotlight and it did not take too
long for individuals to use digital platforms for broadcast than tools for communication.
I am not sure how often we ask how each of us are doing, although those were the first few words we used to write in a letter or say when we called or met someone.
So we will continue to evolve and it would be interesting where the competition with AI would lead us to.