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Teach kids creativity. Ultimately, machines will be better at coding

If you want to bring up a kid to be a successful investor or entrepreneur, the current education system says they should be studying STEM subjects, cramming facts and figures, and immersing themselves in coding class. I’ve spent my working life as an entrepreneur and investor – I’ve founded startups, and now invest across Europe for GV (the venture capital investment arm of Google) – but as a father, when I look at the way we’re educating our kids, I think there’s something missing.

Machines are already superintelligent on many axes, including memory and processing speed. Unfortunately, those are the attributes our education system currently rewards, with an emphasis on learning by rote.

It doesn’t make sense to me. Part of my job as an investor is to attempt to predict the future – I need to make bets on the way we’ll be behaving in the next two, five, ten and 20 years. Computers already store facts faster and better than we do, but struggle to perfect things we learn as toddlers, such as dexterity and walking.

We need to rethink the way we teach our children and the things we teach them. Creativity will be increasingly be the defining human talent. Our education system should emphasise the use of human imagination to spark original ideas and create new meaning. It’s the one thing machines won’t be able to do.

We should aim to teach our kids about the power of creativity in every area. Science and maths, which are often considered uncreative, have shaped human history with huge creative leaps. It was creativity that allowed Newton to discover gravity while observing a falling apple as he was thinking about the forces of nature.

Any job that involves repetition, and no creativity, is at risk of disruption – from performing calculations to reviewing forms to sorting machine parts, and eventually driving. Such roles are the easiest for machines to do far more efficiently than us. We should prepare kids for roles that are tougher to automate – roles like artists, caregivers, entrepreneurs or theoretical physicists at the edge of science.

Often these valuable leaps of creativity require base knowledge. Newton would certainly not have been equipped to ‘discover’ gravity without a phenomenal foundation in physics and maths. And as technology accelerates, we will need to learn continuously in order to keep this foundational knowledge.

For this reason, we should no longer expect kids to have only one intense period of education to prepare them for the rest of their lives. They will, and we all, need to learn continuously throughout life. It’s more valuable to help children learn to love learning itself, to celebrate the journey rather than a single destination, than it is to force rote memorisation of information to be regurgitated in an exam and then forgotten.

It’s not even clear that it’s worth teaching kids how to code. Deep machine learning will likely automate the writing of code relatively quickly. While it’s useful to know what comprises languages or algorithms, I suspect most of the latter will be written by machine against a specific human (or eventually machine) query. Creativity is going to be far more important in a future where software can code better than we can.

Similarly, we should continue to value learning other human languages, but as neural nets improve, I expect earbuds will offer real-time translation that’s close to perfect within a decade or so. The real value of learning a second language will be more about understanding how people around the world think — a crucial responsibility for sharing the planet. Instead of glamorising memorisation and rote testing, we must place a greater emphasis on speed of learning, understanding context, being adaptable, and especially on how to frame the right question, whether as a search query, as a citizen in a democracy, or as a complex algorithm.

Machines only ever act on human instructions. Framing questions is therefore our opportunity to succeed or fail: ask a bad question, and you will get a bad answer. Ask a biased question, you will get a biased answer. Critical thinking and media literacy skills that help us to assess information sources should be embedded in school curricula.

We’ve seen the rise of filter bubbles and their effects, such as people socialising less with people unlike themselves. We are creating an empathy gap. The psychologist Carl Rogers said there are as many different perceptions as there are people in the world. And so the most important skill we can instill in our kids is empathy — a sense of shared humanity, and the ability to understand the needs and motivations of others. In an era when confirmation bias pulls us into homogeneous bubbles, it may be the toughest quality to nurture.

Empathy is critical to mitigating the negative impacts of all the technologies we currently rely on. It’s increasingly critical for our kids, who will need empathy to create products and services that are useful and desirable for a world of customers unlike themselves.

The good news is that digital tools can help immensely to free us from rote thinking. But we should not rely on them to dominate how we learn and live. Recently, it’s been reported that some expert technologists limit the time their kids use of digital devices. And it’s not only kids: the designer of the Facebook ‘like’ button revealed that at his request, his assistant installed a parental control on his phone — to stop him from downloading more apps.

I understand this desire to balance out our reliance on too much technology. Let’s take advantage of the remarkable capabilities in technologies we’ve developed — and at the same time, help ourselves and our kids strengthen and enhance our uniquely human qualities.

 Tom Hulme is a general partner at GV, the venture capital arm of Google parent firm Alphabet

Updated 11.04.18, 13:10: The headline of this story has been altered

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/children-coding-education-change-machine-learning-ai-creativity?

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Entrepreneurs networking breakfast talk

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JustBeing.life & SwiftMomentum’s EQ journey within the work space

I’ve done numerous HR / culture / leadership/ industrial psyche courses and none resonated with myself and the team quite like the Justbeing.life course.

I may have some bias as the Just Being presenters and I have become close friends after this experience… but I’m pretty sure they’ll become your close friends too if you choose to go on the EQ Journey with them.

James, the pioneer of the course, has a very cool bio which actually ties into what he does and what I experienced: “we take borrowed truths to become knowledgeable but to be knowledgeable is not to know”. Why do I mention this? The reason I mention this is that there is no step-by-step process to building the perfect team. Someone else’s truth or what they experienced most likely won’t work for you.

Every single team is different and has different components and variables. You know your team best which is your truth or your experience and you know where it needs improvement and where it’s strong points are. Ultimately what James does is simply show you a way to communicate within a team or just human to human. You will then have clearer conversations with your team and in the end you will have real data, real insights and real thoughts from everyone involved which will put you in the best position to make the right decisions for yourself and for your team.

The strange thing is James or the Just Being course doesn’t tell you what to do to build a better team nor does he give you any guidelines or direction. He simply guides you with how to engage with people and how to communicate clearly. This is ultimately the backbone of any strong team. Once you are all communicating clearly it’s up to you what you do from there.

Conflict Resolution – When we can discern people’s emotions and empathize with their perspective it’s much easier to resolve conflicts and possibly avoid them before they start. We are also better at negotiation due to the very nature of our ability to understand the needs and desires of others. It’s easier to give people what they want if we can perceive what it is.

Success – Higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators which can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create strong networks of support, overcome setbacks and persevere with a more resilient outlook. Our ability to delay gratification and see the long-term directly affects our ability to succeed.

Leadership – The ability to understand what motivates others, relate in a positive manner and to build stronger bonds with others in the workplace inevitably makes those with higher emotional intelligence better leaders. An effective leader can recognize what the needs of his people are so that those needs can be met in a way that encourages higher performance and satisfaction at work. An emotionally savvy and intelligent leader is also able to build stronger teams by strategically utilizing the emotional diversity of their team members to benefit the team as a whole.

Emotions play a very critical role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives, more critical than even our actual measure of brain intelligence. While tools and technology can help us to learn and master information, nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.

Thought I’d put a couple interesting facts down about EQ:
Emotions’ are the biggest motivator of human actions.
They make you survive, make love (reproduce), create social bonds and be moral.
If you want to strong team, then motivations are pretty critical.

EQ > IQ. 85% of your financial success is due to your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to your IQ. FACT guys and girls!

Self-awareness is the key. The earlier you recognize an emotion the more choice you have in dealing with it. You gain more self-awareness through meditation.

70% of male leaders in top 15% in decision-making skills score highest in EQ!

I don’t want to give too much away but basically, if you’ve got a team I highly recommend doing it.

 

ADHD kicking in now… Oh look there’s a squirrel!

CIAO – David

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Embedding photos on Twitter!

Twitter does not currently allow for embedded Instagram photos, and the results are pretty ugly. When you post a photo from Instagram to Twitter, it shows up as a link to Instagram’s website. This isn’t Twitter’s fault, so don’t hate the micro-blogging site, hate the game. Or hate Facebook… post-buyout, Instagram decided not to support Twitter Cards, the system Twitter set up to allow users and developers to attach media to their tweets.  Read more

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The team at the Johnny Clegg concert!

We all recently went to rock out at the Johnny Clegg concert and had a fantastic time!

Here’s a photo of some of the team and Johnny!

 

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Here’s a cool article for you “Cape Tonian Environmentally Conscious Hipster Tech Heads” that we thought you’d like…

Here’s a cool article for you “Cape Tonian Environmentally Conscious Hipster Tech Heads” that we thought you’d like…

So we’ve been busy with our daily lives trying to explore every day and new happenings. While experiencing this journey it wouldn’t hurt to simply think about the benefits of eco-friendly life.

We’ve listed some environmentally conscious apps which don’t require extra efforts from you to lead a greener life. You will be inspired to live one after reading about them. Read more

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What are the Big Tech CEO’s getting paid?

What are the Big Tech CEO’s getting paid?

Apparently according to recent data, this year’s class of top public-company CEOs are definitely being compensated like royalty. Read more

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Facebook will pay cash rewards for reporting bugs

After Google and Mozilla, Facebook will now pay cash rewards to researchers who privately report vulnerabilities that could expose the privacy or security of the Facebook users. Read more

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Samsung announces another variant of Galaxy S4

We lost count of how many variant of Samsung Galaxy S4 already out there and how many more to come. This time they have made one compatible for advanced network of South Korea.  Read more