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A few years back it seemed off the wall speculation that handwriting might become an obsolete human skill. After all, it’s one of the core capabilities we first learn in grade school. Starting with, perhaps, how to write one’s name.

However, now…it’s not so wild to speculate how much longer human handwriting will exist. With ubiquitous connections in our pockets, or on our wrists, or on our glasses, or connected to our ears, or implanted…to say nothing of holding in our hands…it seems quite feasible to one day just do away with handwriting altogether.

Here’s a somewhat blinkered but still useful view of the implications of AI aural processing… taking speech and turning it into text.

But the same AI is hard at work at taking hand writing and turning that into text as well. And then there’s the real time vocalization of text, made possible by AI. IOW, an immense amount of AI processing is being brought to bear on humans’ use of language to communicate. 

For handwriting, one can see the “writing on the wall” and it’s not in our own particular hand anymore. It’s a standardized typeface of some sort. Perhaps the only place handwriting will continue to exist that is done by hand would be  graffiti using spray paint.

If such a core human skill can become obsolete in a relatively short period of time… now that AI is on a very rapid and seemingly almost straight up curve of innovation… what else in our learned-in-school skill set could become obsolete?

Here’s the scariest and/or most exciting view of AI and cloud connection innovation:

What if MUCH of what we spend our childhood and young adulthood years learning in the classroom, developing capabilities…  becomes obsolete, no longer of use? Could that actually happen?

What if the skills needed are very much different from the ones that an agrarian civilization and an industrial civilization were based on? That would mean that not only would the MO or learning process change, but the “content” would change…and different content probably requires different learning approaches as well.

There’s a TED talk about how schools were designed by the English to crank out bureaucrats needed to run their vast empire in the 19th and first half of 20th century… certain skills were required, and a great deal of standardization was needed so the parts of the bureaucratic machine would fit together. But today? What do we need to do today in the knowledge economy? Do we even have a clue? Well, clearly it’s going to be different in major ways.

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