‘Robot and the Professor’. A short story by Phil Jones

‘Robot and the Professor’ by Phil Jones

It’s 2033 and it is Lucas’s 2oth birthday, but celebrations will have to wait because he has a busy day ahead at college. A major assignment needs to be handed in at the beginning of his class and after that, he needs to write an exam for a self-interest online course that he’s been taking over the past couple of months. If he passes this exam, he’ll get another Digital Merit Badge that he can add to an ever-growing roster of his lifelong learning achievements.

Lucas finds that a combination of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with traditional in-class delivery modes is a good balance for his learning style. In fact, most people prefer to learn this way, despite the earlier doom and gloom scenarios of the demise of bricks and mortar colleges due to MOOCs. Human nature wins out again. Most people still don’t have the self-motivation to succeed online, and many simply want to be with other people in a classroom setting, especially with all the technologies that have reduced face to face social interaction. In 2033, colleges and universities are thriving, as they have become focused on teaching ‘Change Management’ and ‘New, Creative and Innovative Thinking’ skills. There is a reason for this. Learning to adapt to change and generating new ideas are really the only key skills that set apart a human from a humanoid. These skills have become increasingly important lately, as robots are replacing humans at an unprecedented rate in all sectors of the economy. It is not enough to think outside the box; humans must now think outside the bot. [Read more…]

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