Speaker: Dr. David Louzecky, Professor of Philosophy, UW-Sheboygan
Title: Education and the Useless Case
The last election was, at least in part, about the working class. The next election might be about the “useless class.” Both income and funding for healthcare are tied to jobs, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics are cheaper to employ than a human workforce. Robots will not be contributing to health care funding, let alone social security. Funds and budgets for The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and Medicare are increasingly at risk. After the encroachment of technology throughout workplaces, relatively few of the remaining workers will earn a high enough income to afford sophisticated genetic modifications and the latest advances in healthcare. This technology will not be available to the vast surfeit of the “useless class.” Mark Zuckerberg and Bernie Sanders recommend a universal basic income to compensate for the lack of employment; this could be an interim solution.
There are a myriad of social problems emanating from the new technologies, but given that education is preparation for the workforce, my question is, "What should we do about the curriculum?" For the near term, we can carry on as usual, but it takes a decade to start an engineering program or train a doctor—by then we'll have self-driving vehicles on the road and IBM’s Watson will be diagnosing at the Clinic. How can we better prepare future generations to meet these challenges? Since we know what is in the offing, it is a violation of responsibility to fail to prepare. If I had the answer, I’d write an article. Because I don’t, I hope to engage you and benefit from your discussion.