Confront the New Threat of Technology with an Old Idea

Confront the New Threat of Technology with an Old Idea 1

If we keep obsessing about whether or not robots and synthetic intelligence (AI) will put hundreds of thousands of human beings out of labor, we’re going to miss a once-in-a-century possibility, in step with a brand new report from the nonprofit Makers All. In the subsequent twenty years, no longer the handiest robots and AI but also augmented and digital reality, digital fabrication, and different rising tech will create an abundance of wealth.  If we can give groups the strength to shape this era and its impact on them, we will create an economic system that works for all.

How can we do it? By taking a lesson from our agricultural past.

Robots and AI threaten to shatter the hyperlink between wealth and broad prosperity: new industries may not create sufficient top jobs.  But if we can position ordinary humans in the driving force’s seat, if we will educate thousands and thousands of adults from Harlem to Harlan County to turn out to be builders and architects, they can seize a massive enough slice of rising tech’s wealth to assist revitalize our groups.

The concept of education millions of adults to grasp a complicated technological ability may appear to be wishful questioning. It’s no longer. We’ve accomplished it before, with Extension Services. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the U.S. Faced a similarly daunting mission. How many want to ensure tens of millions of farmers mastered the fundamentals of soil technological know-how and other complex knowledge and practices that made up contemporary agriculture?  After numerous failed efforts, the U.S. Created Extension Services, a massive network-orientated software that:


Collaborated with communities to make cutting-edge farming techniques and equipment a whole lot greater on hand. Embedded Extension sellers in every agricultural county, helping farmers leverage the power of community and peer-orientated getting to know to spread cutting-edge agricultural practices. Using the lessons of Extension Services, the report argues we can definitely democratize emerging tech using the subsequent 3 strategies:

Smooth the Learning Curve. Today, coding may be painfully tough to study. For rising tech, we want to do what Extension Services did for ag-tech: redecorate it so it’s simpler for ordinary adults to analyze. To accomplish that, we have to apply “user revel in” (UX) design — a mainstay of present-day net layout — to the sector of programming through network-oriented coding UX. Develop an Ecosystem of Community-Oriented Support.  We need to convert our contemporary piecemeal method to schooling and support, so it harnesses the power of a network and operates on the scale that Extension Services did.  As we accomplish that, we also want to build a better bridge between training and paintings.

Integrate Tech Training and Civic Engagement Training. In the following two decades, the emerging tech will spend some of our core assumptions about how markets paintings, growing possibilities to reshape the policies of the road. Hence, our financial system works for everybody. But if we want all communities to have a seat on the table, we have to analyze from the enjoyment of the Sixties Civil Rights Movement’s Citizenship Schools, whose approach overcomes several Extension Services’ boundaries, and train both the technical and the civic engagement capabilities had to participate surely.

Equally importantly, the report argues, we should exchange our mindset. Why does the idea of training tens of millions of people in rising tech coding appear like wishful wondering? Because just like the first try to revolutionize agricultural training, our solutions to date aren’t up to the mission. For instance:

Most network-based totally tech education efforts can handiest get funding for a fragment of the sources they want.

Unlike Extension Services, our modern-day efforts aren’t responsible at the scale we need. We don’t often ask, are we remodeling every network?

The tech international prides itself on being insanely bold, and but the purpose we’re failing so many groups is that we aren’t formidable sufficient. That’s the primary lesson of Extension Services. If Apple’s coders learned an element or two from apple growers, we’d all be better off. The key to unlocking our future is in our beyond. If we can do for rising tech what we did for agriculture, we can help communities from Harlem to Harlan County benefit from the strength they need to shape their destinies. It won’t solve all of the economic troubles created by robots and AI; no longer all of us goes to emerge as a programmer or dressmaker. But it can function as one critical basis for rebuilding our communities and making the entire.

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