Recently Boston Dynamics, a U.S.-based engineering and robotics design company, created Atlas—a 1.5-meter tall humanoid robot that can jog, walk and even backflip. Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics developed a robot named Sophia in 2016. Through artificial intelligence, visual data processing and facial recognition, Sophia imitates human gestures and facial expressions. She was even granted Saudi Arabian citizenship in 2017, making her the first robot to have a nationality.
Technology is changing what it means to be human. It is changing the different aspects of our lives. It is changing how we learn and transforming the landscape of education.
With the advancement of communication, the sharing of data among researchers, analysts and academicians is way easier than before. Through the internet, learning resources have become more accessible. In the past, only a few could access research works. Today, however, anyone can access information at any time and from anywhere. Massive amounts of information are available in just a few clicks and in various formats such as videos, e-books and audiobooks, among others.
Universities are now building digital libraries that hold a collection of documents, books, journals, magazines, articles and newspapers organized in an electronic format and accessible anytime and anywhere. Learning also becomes more effective. According to studies, we remember only 30% of what we see and 90% of what we do or simulate. By integrating virtual reality in classrooms, learning becomes more immersive and effective.
Technology is revolutionizing education. Needless to say, the future of education is clicks and not bricks. And with the fast development of technology, the future is arriving sooner than we think.
It is the duty of academic institutions to prepare the younger generation for the technology-enabled future and empower them with skills to excel in the digital age. Academicians must not forget, however, that more than teaching the young generation to excel in the professional world, their greater responsibility is teaching them to excel at being human.
As we tread the path to a technology-driven future, we face mounting calls to make greater contributions to society. With technology comes the resources to answer the plight of humanity and academic institutions are in the position to give back to the society. Schools and universities must, therefore, commit to using their technology, manpower and resources in making society better. They must empower their employees and students to leverage their resources to do good for society.
We have to make sure that in making technology more human, we are not losing our humanity in the process.