Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Notes on the ISTE 2016 Opening Keynote: Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku was the opening keynote speaker at ISTE 2016. Kaku, author of "The Future of the Mind" is currently the professor of Theoretical Physics at City College of New York and a popularizer of science. 
 He noted that he was listed among the smartest people in New York, but also noted Madonna made the list!

Physicists developed the laser, the World Wide Web, radio, the microwave, the X-Ray, and the space program and GPS! They kind of have a leg up on what the future might look like!

One physicist predicted that the Internet would become a place of high culture! 

Kaku's talk was on a "world tour" of current thought on the future.

He has interviewed 300 of the world's top scientists for his BBC program asking their thoughts on the future. 

Is there intelligent life on earth? NO! Just look at the presidential election!

His book on the future of the mind, he asks the question, "Why do we have income inequality?"
First we need to ask, Where does wealth come from? 
His answer? From science.

Life expectancy 200 years ago was only 45 years. Something happened that changed everything! Science and Technology gave us the Industrial Revolution. We needed to educate people to run the mills and industry.
Then the second wave came with electricity. So much wealth was created that there was a bubble in 1929.
Then the third wave of high tech came. What will the 4th Wave be?
Kaku argues that they will be the following:
  • Telecommunications
  • Biotechnology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Nanotechnolgoy and Quantum Era


He argues that the top 30% have done fairly well in today's economy, due to going to college and learning science.

We don't live in 1950 anymore. We have to change our educational system.

Just like electricity is everywhere and is virtually invisible in today's world, chips will be everywhere as well. They will cost a penny! Thus computers will become invisible in the near future.

In the future, your glasses or contact lenses will tell you who the person you're looking at is. You'll also know who to "suck up to" at any cocktail party!
Already this is happening in the operating room with doctors using internet glasses to see MRI scans as they operate.
You'll be able to walk through any property you're interested in right in the real estate office. 

Augmented Reality
If students have information right on their contact lens, by blinking, you'll be able to pull up any information. What does this mean for educators?

(This is where I wish he would have stopped and gone more in depth. If teachers today take cell phones away on test day, in the near future, will they need to collect contact lenses? Some might argue that teachers "just" need to ask better questions, that can't be Googled. Unfortunately, in today's world, most common assessments are not created with this in mind. The reality is that most current common formative or sumative assessments involve bubble sheets and answers that are Googleable. We need to find a way to prepare for this future, not just because augmented reality on contact lenses is coming, but because higher level, non-Googleable assessments are much richer and more authentic.)


Kaku notes that
"concepts and principals will need to be emphasized rather that the drudgery of memorizing information."

Augmented reality is already being used by military. "Land Warrior."

Epaper 
Flexible screens will become the future of wallpaper and other surfaces as well as what people can use to create and access content.
Robo-Doc-An animated intelligent medical assistent will be available.
Robo-Lawyer for legal questions that can currently be answered by paralegals.
The job market will be turned upside down....

Stock brokers will no longer be needed. In the future, blinking will allow you to buy stock, So stock brokers will need to have intellectual capital. Robots only do repetitive tasks faster than we do.

This is the digitization of capitalism. Children demanded music on the Internet and revolutionized the music industry. Today, other media is being digitized. 
Next: Transportation, Medicine and Education will be digitized.

Even Christmas will be digitized. "Smart Barbie Dolls," "Military Intelligence, "Microsoft Works! are all contradictions of terms!

3D Leticular technology will allow 3D images to be viewed without glasses. Glasses are why 3D never took off. 
Driverless cars are another aspect of this change towards the future.
What does this mean for Driver's Education? Students will not only have to know how to drive a "regular" car, but also know how to troubleshoot when driving a driverless vehicle.
This is a seamless transfer of information from the internet of things to our brains.

3D print for machinists and architects, as well as "shopping" at Christmas, will allow you to pay for the code, and then you'd print your present at home.

"Perfect Capitalism!" Everyone knows everytinng about the product and the consumer. This is coming, and business and consumers need to understand it!

Cyber Education
Kaku argues that given the drop out rate (90%) of Massive Open Online Course's at Stanford and other places, because students have no mentor or person to share ideas and information, these courses will only be an "aid" to education, it will not replace it. There will be a balance between e-instruction and mentoring. You can't get mentoring on the Internet! This is where educators are necessary. (Again, I wish Kaku had gone into more detail here, as he was speaking to a room primarily made up of educators.)

Medicine
The biggest source of jobs will be medicine! Smart pills will replace the colonoscopy! This gives new meaning to the term, "Intel inside!" 
Smart toilets will monitor your health 3 times per week. DNA chips will scan and let you know that there are cancer cells in your body. (Alan November was talking about this 15 years ago!)
The MRI is really a "tricorder." With supercomputers, we are getting closer to smaller MRI's that are closer to cell phone in size. You will have more computing power in your medicine cabinet than what currently exists in university hospitals.



Genomics will allow us to grow new parts. "The Human Body Shop!"
The first bladder was grown for a young woman 2 years ago. The next organ to be grown is the liver! Drink up!

The brain is the next major organ to be digitized. This will allow us to rule in or out old wives tales! We know that teenagers brains are not fully developed!
Peer pressure is more important than what they know! Kids aren't stupid!

Connecting mind and machine
This is allowing people who have injuries to have their brain connected to exoskeletons, where they can now do what they could not.

MIT is working on "Brain Pace-makers" that will help people with alzheimers know who they are and where they are going.

Upload Education?
Small memories are being recorded and uploaded-the Matrix isn't as far off as we may think! Is life an illusion?! Dreams and Thoughts are being "photographed" at Cal-Berkley. Lucid dreaming-you're awake but you know you are dreaming in the middle of a dream. MRI scans can show this. 
(Again, what are the implications for educators here. I wish Kaku had gone deeper here.)

Library of Souls and Immortality
The Connectome Project is working to map the entire brain. The library of tomorrow will have digitized information about a person's personality and history, with the ability of "interaction!" Imagine interacting with Churchill about World War II, or other famous people. Kaku conjectures that this may render people immortal in a way.

Kaku showed this video to illustrate what is coming in the next 50 years in medicine:


Kaku concluded that the most important thing we as educators can impart to our students is to find a role model! 

Final Thoughts
Dr. Kaku gave an entertaining and thought provoking talk to kick off ISTE 2016. Perhaps through the next few days, there will be deeper conversations on the implications of the glimpse of the future he shared with us. Ultimately, our goal as educators will be to prepare our students for a future and professions that don't exist yet. It was helpful to have the curtain peeled back a bit to get a glimpse into what that future might look like!


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