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Futurist Keynote, UK: Education in the Exponential Era, GEMS


Everyone agrees that today’s industrial education strategies are not fit for purpose and will ultimately leave us with a huge skills gap in the future.


Firstly, I would like to thank the team at GEMS, the world’s largest private school company, with over 150,000 students from over 150 countries, 11,000 staff, and over 100 schools in 19 different countries, for inviting me in to present on the Future of Education in an exponential world – a world where science fiction, as readers of my blog will be able to attest, is increasingly becoming science fact, and where each individual student, when armed with the right insights, mindset and tools, has the potential to impact the lives of billions of people, and change the world for the better.


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During the presentation, as you can see, I started by giving the English teacher access to the world’s most dangerous Artificial Intelligence (AI) text generator – GPT-2 from OpenAI – a tool that on the one hand can be used to automatically create everything from poems to essays, but that on the other hand used by students in the future to cheat.


See the keynote

I also showed the faculty how every science fiction technology has now arrived, from holograms to tractor beams, complete with videos, and then went on to discuss how the rate of change, which many people already feel is “fast” will continue to accelerate and go exponential as we see the emergence of everything from everything from self-evolving AI’s and even robots, through to new technologies that let us teach children in new ways,  and end famine and energy poverty, and disrupt every industry on Earth. All for starters.


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As you can see from the video, the world that our children will live in will be almost unrecognisable, in many ways, from today’s world. But as the rate and scale of change of change accelerate and increase one of the biggest challenges we have as a society, in my opinion, is preparing ourselves and our children for a future that will be increasing fast and furious – a future where the rise of automation and autonomous companies, intelligent machines, and other exponential technologies, will transform every corner of global culture, industry, and society, and, needless to say, have huge implications for the future of skills and work.

As a result I encourage you to watch the video, and then ask yourself this question – are your children prepared? If your answer is no then read the Codex below, and feel free to reach out to me because we now have a way to close the gap – it’s time to move from talking to action.

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