Creativity Now as Important as Literacy
The first time I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk, I felt it was the most meaningful TED Talk I had ever watched.
Now I am a parent who graduated in the midst of the inflation and devaluation of traditional education degrees. Now I am an employer flooded daily with primarily indistinguishable resumes chocked full of these same degrees.
It is obvious how technology is better suited for many of the things we are traditionally taught at length in schools like calculus and algebra. But other more surprising human activities are destined to be automated as well with advances in artificial intelligence and robotics. Consider:
- Manufacturing where robotic hands are now dextrous enough to tie knots, pick up grains of rice, throw, and catch
- Medicine with expert systems like CADUCEUS able to provide medical diagnosis
- Law where knowledge based systems that promise to automate legal processes
As increasingly sophisticated technology progressively supplants humans in many disciplines, creativity in all its forms seems destined surely to be one of the last frontiers where the uniqueness of the human condition can shine and be appreciated. Surely creativity will become increasingly one of the most precious quantities on earth.
I do however see creativity broadly and beyond the music, art, drama, and dance that Robinson mentions. Creativity is a critical element in software development, industrial design, scientific innovation and other “non-Arts” disciplines as well.
Regardless, knowing, as Robinson says, that current education systems on the whole do not adequately reflect the importance of creativity, it leaves me as a parent with difficult choices now. Ensuring my children are not afraid to make mistakes and will “remain creative as they grow up” to paraphrase Robinson’s Picasso quote may require a lot of courage and willingness to defy norms.
I guess we’ll have to get creative with how to do this.