Singularity is a concept that can also be adapted to a symbiotic process between technology and education.
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The Fourth Industrial Revolution dominated by digital technologies and the fusion of different sources of knowledge is bringing a productive revolution due to the confluence of technologies: from digital technologies (3D printing, IoT, advanced robotics) to new materials (bio and nanotechnologies) to new processes (data-driven production, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology). These technologies will transform production with enormous consequences on productivity, employment, skills, income distribution, environment: greener products, safer jobs (because the dangerous ones will be executed by robots), new and personalized goods and services.
Technological development will be disruptive in all the industries. The pace and the extent of change are still unknown, but resilience and prosperity will be more likely in those countries that adopt forward-looking policies related to job, education, and training. Indeed, while the new technologies will create jobs, the associated adjustments could be significant with difficulties related both to the processes of displacement (new jobs and redefinition of the existing jobs) and to the processes of access to the job market.
Some new production technologies will increase the importance of education and the interdisciplinary approach: it does not make sense to continue to teach topics as separated. It should be more and more useful to merge the different sources of knowledge together with a strong interaction between industry and education. Lifelong learning and on-the-job training are essential in order to update the background according to the pace of technological change. Digital skills, ICT literacy, mathematics and problem solving will be vital for the entire working population.
The capability of long-term vision is essential. In addition to facing short-term challenges, all the stakeholders such as business community, school, university, unions, government, must be ready to frame policies and prepare for developments beyond the typical electoral cycles. Deep and radical reform of education systems is required to successfully face the challenges coming from emerging technologies. We could start from the concept of singularity between education and technology, that is to say, a progressive merge/incorporation of technology into education systems. This does not mean leaving total space to the robots but considering smartphones, tablets, PCs, consoles, videogames and other tools in their great educational value. Instead of pillaging videogames and tablets, we should try to work on the adoption of educational video games and to make the technology complementary to teachers. Technology is fast, it has the capability to engage, reaches everyone.
Education systems must come out of their shells and meet children and young people: it is useless to continue to give concepts and information, because they have no value and will always leave closed the door of change. Training should generate change, and technology is the key to opening that door.