Deposit Photos: Used with permission
[This is a companion piece to Silicon Intelligence, Organic Wisdom.]
Rapid technological innovation is increasingly causing much anxiety about the changing fabric of job creation. What is clear, is that a new paradigm of both job training and work andragogy along with a new approach to educational pedagogy is needed –and urgently.
As highlighted by our recent piece featured in the Huffington Post and LinkedIn, it is time to separate out artificial intelligence from organic wisdom, and spend more time and resources on the latter.
Wisdom v. “Big Data”
Author/thinker Nassim Taleb points out in his book Antifragile, that the “tragedy of Big Data” is the generation of an exponential rise in spurious correlations—noise in essence:
A Wisdom Paradigm construct, which we have argued is the necessary [and overdue] evolution of the Information Age [i.e. the “Knowledge Worker” needs to become the “Wisdom Worker”, and the Information Age needs to give way to the Age of Sapience], avoids this trap:
Because this construct or “wisdom quotient” [WQ] relies on much more than one dimension of knowledge [also employs creativity, emotional intelligence and experience], the likelihood of making good decisions is greatly increased:
For those thinking STEM is the answer, think again.
As reported in the Atlantic:
“STEM doesn’t necessarily help create the “New Work” workers that are so highly valued in the evolving global economy. In a report on “New Work,” the Pew Charitable Trust wrote, “The creative jobs that drive innovation are now the highest ‘value added’ jobs in the world—the real creators of wealth.” The Pew report acknowledges that creativity doesn’t just come from artists. In fact, there are approximately 170 occupational classifications that make up “New Work,” which can be grouped into five major categories based on the types of knowledge, skills, and aptitudes needed. They are Creative, Education, Social, Technical, and Strategic. Based on these classifications, STEM appears to account for only one fifth of the training we’ll need to compete in the coming decades.” [emphasis mine]
The same idea shown graphically, comes from David Deming of Harvard:
What’s often not commented on however, is that what the two largest increasing subsets have in common is high social skills, not math skills:
Machines and the Routine
Another way of slicing the employment skill quandary is looking at whether a task is routine or not [regardless of its “knowledge worker” dynamic], as highlighted by this work from the St. Louis Federal Reserve:
A Wisdom Construct, that advances the understanding of practical wisdom, or phronesis, relies on developing the panoply of human skills across the spectrums of intelligence, creativity and compassion/empathy. To illustrate this, a three dimensional graphic is needed, not merely a two-dimensional scatter plot. We posit that jobs moving towards the space-time sector that encompasses these dynamics are the future growth spots in the economy, and largely free from AI disruption:
And What About Education?
The static, inorganic current educational paradigm must evolve. Even STEM is fighting the last war. What is needed is a quantum leap forward, understanding that human intellectual pursuits can be thought of as a continuum of sorts, between theoretical constructs leading to explicit design and trial and error [or tinkering]. The ancient Greeks also dealt with this duality with the terms episteme and techne.
Similarly, human work can be thought of as a spectrum from building things with one’s hands [or the extension of such using tools and the like and one based on both deliberate thought and mindful reflection, and subconscious processes. [artisans and thinkers].
Graphically putting these concepts together might look like this:
Again, we need a three dimensional image, with the z-axis here being the continuum between venues and methods of learning. Lately there is talk about “micro-colleges”, and although the name isn’t perhaps the best, it at least starts the discussion.
[More needs to be said about the value of apprenticeship, as a happy medium between institutional dogma and self-directed study.]