Learning for 2020

My journey to understand what life will be in year 2020 and how we should prepare our next generation to cope with life at 2020.

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Monday, July 25, 2005

Personal Memory Assistant

I heard a presentation by Jamais Cascio via ITConversations. In the presentation, he talked about
the Participatory Panopticon, and [it] spells the end of privacy and the end of secrecy. While personal privacy is eroding, the ability of those in power to lie, cheat, and steal is also becoming increasingly impaired.

While he focussed on the bigger issue, the scenario as described, if becomes true, has implication on the way we will learn.

Basically, Jamais is not predicting the future. He is trying to project the current trends and see what that may lead to. One probable scenario is what he called "participatory panopticon" where
we'll be living in a world where what we see, what we hear, what we experience will be recorded wherever we go. There will be few statements or scenes that will go unnoticed, or unremembered. Our day to day lives will be archived and saved. What’s more, these archives will be available over the net for recollection, analysis, even sharing.

Jamais also projected the use of personal memory assistant PMA...
You'll want to recall a casual mention of his favourite movie, or the name and year of the wine she loved so much, or what he *really* said in that argument. You'll want to be able to share the amazing flock of birds you saw on the way home from work, or the enthralling street musician you passed while shopping. In the past, all you could rely upon was imperfect memory and whatever descriptive skills you possess. Now, and increasingly as the technology progresses, these tools will make it possible to retain and share those moments with perfect clarity.

One impact of PMA is on those in intellectual property business (aka content). When people are using these memory assistant as adjunct to their memories, any limitation via regulation or otherwise, on what they can record are "equivalent to attacks on what they're allowed to remember".

Learning will not be about information. We will have too many. Information retrieval techniques will have to improve to cope and that's on the horizon. Education is about preparing future citizens. If this is one probable scenario, the big question to me, educationally, is how can we prepare ourselves and our kids for such a world. Estimated time of arrival of this scenario, I would say 2020.