You know how sometimes you think of an old song and then suddenly you start hearing it everywhere? In a taxi. At CVS. In a TV commercial? No? One of my sons is a redhead and, rare as they are purported to be, I see them everywhere I go. I swear. All the time. Then I have a friend who claims that she always notices when it is 11:11 o’clock no matter where she goes. Am I making any sense?
Let me back up a little. Last year I decided to go back to school for a Masters Degree in Education Technology K-12. The “why” is a much longer story, but for the purposes of this post, suffice it to say that I was proud and excited to be accepted into the Ed Tech program at Teachers College, Columbia University. For obvious reasons, I expected my courses would be very, well, technical!
There are moments when I believe I can actually feel my brain stretching (because it hurts) as TC’s brilliant professors and guest lecturers cover topics spanning from ethics to empathy; innovation to inquiry… It will take years for all of this information to filter through the lumpy charcoal of my brain. Nevertheless, over the course of the year, two central themes keep insistently returning; “Design Thinking” and “A.I.”
What’s odd is how those themes pop up when I’m NOT at school. And often. Out of nowhere, the Director of my school emailed me this article the other day: What Is Design Thinking. And A friend posted a link to this article on his Facebook page (he’s a jazz guitarist) A.I. In the Fintech (I had no idea what fintech meant!), and then THIS and THIS popped up somewhere…
Then I’m watching Trevor Noah and he starts talking about A.I., Russia and their Terminator robots… Ugh!
Just this past Sunday, at an Easter-Egg hunt in Southport, CT, the college-age son of our host (friend of our friends) served my husband and me a mimosa. He was a tall, preppy, yacht-club hunk straight out of central casting. However, once I asked him what he was studying in college, he informed us that he is studying mechanical engineering at Villa Nova. One hour later… We were still talking about… Design Thinking and A.I.
After showing us the extraordinary drone he built from scratch to solve a particular problem (my boys were agog and I was on my third mimosa, so I can’t remember the problem!), he went on to explain how A.I. would one day be able to conceive of thousands of designs for prototypes that humans couldn’t event imagine. He addressed my boys saying, “it’s good that you’re leaning so much coding, you’ll be well ahead of me. That is, at least until A.I. takes over.” My eyes bulged and another conversation began about responsible and ethical A.I. design and development.
Then he asked me, “have you ever seen “The Terminator?” I probably blushed, embarrassed to admit, even to myself, that I can practically recite the entire first film by heart. Then he started talking about Blade Runner and I thought I might faint.
Is it just that “Design Thinking” and A.I. are the buzz words of “now?” Perhaps.
When in doubt, google it out.
I googled the words “why do I keep seeing…” The first response was the following article about seeing 11:11 everywhere;”Spiritual Guidance.” How weird! My first reaction was, “Absurd.” Then I wondered, “Is Google trying to tell me something? Is this A.I. in action? Has it begun.”
Or am I? Skynet?