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JOHANNESBURG - What do impending job losses mean for our societies? And how do we integrate artificial intelligence into our education system? A debate about the big picture of the future of human beings in the hybrid world is inevitable.

JILL WATSON works at Georgia Tech since 2016. She answers the students’ questions quickly and efficiently.

For the students, this reaction time seemed strange at first. After their exams, they learned that Jill is a chatbot. Jill will not replace all the teaching assistants, but a response system for MOOCs, the so-called Massive Open Online Courses, can be supported with her.

The linguistic analysis of legal texts characterises the daily work of many lawyers. The arrival of Kira on the legal scene may not represent the end of lawyers, but marks a definite change in their job profile. Kira is an artificial intelligence tool. It learns while analysing texts - and learns and learns. As one of the first law schools in the US, Yale teaches Data Analytics. The course prepares young lawyers for the use of digital technology.

Co-operative robots

There will also be more co-operative robots like Baxter. Baxter smiles and collaborates in the workplace with his human colleagues. Does he take their job away? Probably.

Magic Leap One is an example. If one puts on the virtual reality glasses, data appear on the screen comparable to the laptop and the phone. They are projected on to the inside of the glasses, and in the background, the real-world shines through the glass. Soon, the pictured objects will even become tangible. This digital world needs to be designed and programmed. That requires specialists with a design and IT focus.

A debate about the big picture of the future of human beings in the hybrid world is inevitable. And yet, we try very hard to avoid it. But that future, whether we like it or not, is already with us.

On the way to the future, we also must think as a community: in the US, Uber recently bought Otto, the driverless truck. What happens to the 2million US truckers now? A big social problem is before us, if those affected have no alternatives.

Singapore has begun to convert its financial hubs into a fintech system, fully expecting that jobs will have an expiration date. That means that traditional banking houses are made more effective through digital financial innovations. It also says that fintech start-ups are developing entirely new bank models.

At the same time, investments are being made in the start-up scene, to stay ahead of the curve in the restructuring of banks and jobs. By contrast, our traditional school system hardly prepares the young generation for the upcoming hybrid age.

PeTeL works at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. The abbreviation stands for Personalised Teaching and Learning. The system collects data about what students in the classroom know and what they do not know. PeTel, therefore, allows individual teaching.

What does this mean for our education systems? First and foremost, we must be aware that we will need a different mix in the future. In the future, we will have to individually weigh the elements of classical university education, from formal education courses and maker spaces.

Free thinking and creativity are crucial characteristics.

Because the machines can do one thing much better than us: they can always work.

A need to prepare

For that reason, it is imperative that governments develop ideas and the tools to help their societies shape the coming changes. These bring new technologies directly into the classroom, resulting in the immediate adaptation of the transfer of knowledge and skills. It is important to educate.

We must talk about it because many still do not know how fast the technologies are developing. In addition we need to explore what future we want to live in and how we want to shape it.

Denise Feldner is a lawyer and technology expert based in Berlin. This article initially appeared on The Globalist. Follow The Globalist on Twitter: @theglobalist

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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