Reimagining education in the age of the artificial

See the special report on AI and higher education by University World News. Reimagining education in the age of the artificial Patrick Blessinger and Abhilasha Singh Ever since humans learned to speak, formed social communities, and invented written language, they have gradually decoupled themselves, link by link, from the evolutionary shackles of natural selection and survival of the fittest restraints. Over the past several thousand years, humans have also been decoupling themselves from the restraints placed on them by authoritarian regimes. This latter condition has proven equally difficult but with knowledge comes awareness and with awareness comes the desire for freedom and self-determination. One of the chief outcomes of this two-pronged decoupling process is that humans are now able, to a large degree, to adjust the environment to fit their needs rather than merely adapting to the whims and conditions of the environment. Perhaps the most significant event that shifted [...]

Urban Renewal is Key to Sustainable Development

Urban Renewal is Key to Sustainable Development Patrick Blessinger and Abhilasha Singh Currently, over half of humanity lives in cities. This percentage is expected to increase as more people around the world continue to move from non-urban locations to urban areas in search of economic opportunity and better social conditions. These two factors are key motivators in their search for better work conditions and a higher quality of life for themselves and their families. In response, cities are challenged with providing basic services for this influx of new residents such as housing/shelter, security services, healthcare services, and basic infrastructure needs like sanitation, utilities, and transportation. Without these basic services, cities run the risk of increased crime and homelessness. A century ago, when the majority of people lived on farms, they arguably were more self-sufficient because they could grow their own food and live off the land. Although they did not [...]

Humans are Extraordinary, but Need a Change in Mindset

Humans are Extraordinary, but Need a Change in Mindset Patrick Blessinger, Abhilasha Singh, Fareeda Khodabocus, and Amudha Poobalan Humans are an extraordinary species in many ways. From their modest beginnings along the East African Rift many millennia ago, humans have evolved to develop some remarkable traits – physical, mental, and social. As a result, not only have humans become the most dominant species on the planet, but they have also become by far its most intelligent, imaginative, adaptable, and resourceful species. This outcome is the result of some very fortuitous events that have happened to humans along their evolutionary pathway. Over the course of their evolution, humans have hit the evolutionary super jackpot several times (perhaps a one hundred trillion to one outcome) when they developed the following advantageous traits, among others: bipedalism, opposable thumbs, the hyoid bone, and, consequently, big and powerful brains. For example, bipedalism is likely the foremost characteristic that put hominids on [...]

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