My dad was a great classical guitar player. The best one I had heard, apart from the maestros on TV or with music records. Honestly, he was that good. I wanted to play guitar like him, but his mastery became my biggest obstacle. Every time I learned a new "trick" or chord, he would do it so much better. At the time, I couldn't take it. I dropped my aspirations of learning classical guitar, bought a couple of distortion pedals and an electric guitar, and decided to make more noise than he could ever imagine. Even with that move, my father would play it better than me! Oh well. I wish he could be alive to teach me now, but that's what you get when you are an obstinate teenager.
It is, however, clear now that I will learn guitar with Augmented and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. I will put my immersion technology kit on my actual guitar, and a pair of virtual hands will guide my hands to play music on my guitar—no VR guitar, my guitar with my hands, using a recommended system. Quantum computing will create 100% realistic scenarios at a computing speed that we have never experienced.
Still, ten years to come, quantum computing is being tested as we speak. I had a conversation with a well-known tech giant research leader this week, and they are ten years from having a truly promising quantum computer. There are no more binary logic, no more 0's and 1's, but ultra-high-speed multiple states. Many things will still have to be ironed out with this technology (mainly inputs and outputs), but indeed the potential is unbelievable, definitely killing Moore's law forever. They have already made progress to the point where they can translate the entire Wikipedia content in any language in milliseconds. It is that fast, and anything that's considered secure electronically with super difficult encryption will be cracked open in seconds, needing to reinvent the entire industry of cyber security.
The combination of AI, VR, AR, and QC will change everything we know. A manufacturing plant or car repair shop operator will not have to "learn" anything and will "do" on the fly, guided by a machine that projects the exact movements. Will humans are learning then? It will be an imitation game if human hands are needed at all. Technologists anticipate that doctors, teachers, police, or even judges will drastically reduce their current AI and robotic assistants workload in less than 20 years. To the point of entirely replacing professions reserved for "humans" because they require judgment. A fundamental shift of who does and who is behind the doers. Who will need to learn?
This leads me to a final point: we are going through a time where nano and micro education credentials, with a lot shorter time to market, are displacing college degrees as an alternative (faster, cheaper, better) in specific fields, but the question is for how long. With the scenario of fully expansive AI, VR, AR, and QC, most areas will replace low, middle, and even high-level skills in an increasingly automated society. What will humans do? What type of education will be necessary for humans then? It sounds like we will move to a hyper-educated hybrid elite (tech + liberal education together) where higher degrees will be the only ones needed since all profession-specific ones won't be necessary. There is no need to learn skills; most occupations will be described as an "AI/AR/VR guided experience," if anything. The only skill we will need is those who will maintain the current technology and those who will engineer the next generation of technology, for whom advanced degrees will be necessary. Most machines will self-repair in the next 20 years.
I know most of us don't want to think about the future that way, but the truth (the one that four or 6-year term politicians don't want to tell you) is that humans won't have jobs in the front lines of "doing,” but on the back lines of "thinking.” Imagine that! Humans, thinking again! Two or three generations down the road, we will have a fully post-human race, with a lot fewer "jobs" and a lot more need to re-engineer our ways to live better and begin to reduce wicked societal problems. Let's see what post-humans come up with, but education, healthcare, transportation, farming, and any other sector will be reinvented in ways we can hardly envision now. And if you don't believe me, count the number of people who remember phone numbers anymore or the number of friends who have already driven a commercial self-driven car. We are already technology-enhanced, and this is just the beginning. Illnesses will be cured; even death could be eliminated if treated as a disease. This is not fatalistic or dystopian; this is happening as we speak.
Maximize your human potential by getting ahead of the curve, preparing yourself, your leaders, and future generations for a hybrid "tech/humanistic" world so that they can make the right choices for themselves and the ones to come.
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Susana Duarte de Suarez