So it all started..

The need for more knowledge has always been great. If we only look back, we can appreciate the expansion of knowledge throughout generations and the increased speed at which it all happens.

Scientists have now estimated that knowledge has doubled from the beginning of times to the year 1750. Then again it doubled between the years 1750 and 1900.  And next again between the years 1900 and 1950, only to increase its speed and double again in a sheer 10 years between 1950 and 1960. And now, it is said that knowledge is doubling in less two years. Considering the shortening of time, it is easy to understand the immense importance of the right knowledge.

It is easy now to gain knowledge on any subject. Universities and course providers offer an enormous number of courses and we have information overload for free online.

We take a responsible approach to learning and there is a state or a public school for   every youngster or even an option of home schooling for those exasperated by the system.  Though studying for a degree may not be for everyone, those who seek careers know that an investment in knowledge brings the best interest .

And whilst we  look up to those with a string of degrees, thinking that they must know something, academic knowledge does not always align with everyday life knowledge.

With the growing demands for more round education that would meet the requirements of adult life and work, universities have more and more challenging a task of getting the taught theory outside the classroom.  As someone once said, knowledge on its own does not produce  results, but when we put it into practice and  turn  our intentions into actions.

It's a climb...

And no doubt as individuals,  we all know. But we may know different things and we are knowledgeable on unequal levels. However if we look at ourselves as a generation those differences disappear. We know that together we know now  more than our great grandfathers. We have developed on their knowledge through  testing and trying   new approaches and  through  practice and taking upon challenges  which all brought the  benefits we draw from now.  As a result we do things differently, use new platforms, machines, tools and apps, inadvertently affecting even further our environment, the way we think, work and view ourselves.

Machines have been helping us deepen our knowledge and whether we are aware or not, they work for us in all areas  hugely affecting our lives.  And they do all that we would say, required human intelligence. Meticulously planned, designed and 'taught' every detail of the process they are far more efficient than us working individually or collectively.

Machines bring the desired results through the highly sophisticated process of crunching through volumes of data on various platforms such as for example voice recognition - Siri (smart phone) or Alexa (virtual assistant) or image or sound recognition - security systems.  This activity compares to processing of the human thought hence  the concept of 'artificial intelligence or AI.

Since machines can process much more data within a much shorter time span than the human brain, they prove to be more effective and therefore excellent to use in business.

They are already hugely popular in: sales, finance, customer care, but also they are applied in  less known areas like   horticulture where they  look  after  crops and medical, veterinary and biomedical sciences where they are used to detect illnesses in patients and animals.  Their significance will undeniably grow even more in  the future as they will be considered to deliver solutions to common problems. For example, so popular already drones  and  personal aircrafts  will become  future transport changing sky to busy highways and thus resolving traffic jam problems.

So, can we learn from AI?

Here are some thoughts of what might certainly help in the process: Open mindedness, self examination, curiosity, drive and perseverance to improve things, learning from our mistakes, learning from each other, learning from our children whom we have taught first.

Can we then learn from our creation  - the machines  that have surpassed us in so many ways?  Surely, we have been copying  already some of their intelligent behaviours.  The problem is, however, that our comprehension of them is  limited as we  have created abstractedly 'thinking' machines that not always act  according to our intentions.

As Steven Hawkings once said 'AI could be the worst event in the history of the civilisation!'  Machines are capable of doing things beyond our control, including making decisions at the expense of humans.

There is a lot to learn about AI but it will be a challenge, and the idea is simply too overwhelming for  human thought alone. Lets just say that machines will continue being  useful to us because of their  ability of crunching tons of data at great speed but for as long as we use them wisely.

As we continue our pursuit of knowledge, and in our attempts to learn from AI, it is worth to remember that knowledge is best acquired through experience and that there is so much more to education that going to school and getting a degree.

"An educated person is the one who learned how to learn and never stops learning" - Peter Drucker - the management guru.

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