Tech Education: How relevant is it today?

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By Jagrit Surisetti, Tech Leaders Fellowship, Class of 2020

There was once a time when surviving through the day was the biggest challenge mankind faced. This birthed the necessity to understand nature and control it, shaping the knowledge-seeking pursuit of humanity for centuries that followed. As humans got inured to having their survival at stake every day, they furthered their pursuits from controlling the universe to understanding it. A consequence of this shift can be seen in the form of the last few centuries being dominated by knowledge of the sciences. With the progress the sciences have made in the past few centuries, the saturation has led to the next shift in the evolution of knowledge. The knowledge humanity has amassed is now at the stage where it is trying to learn how to use its understanding of the universe to further its goals. We are in an era of technology education.

Sciences in today’s world

Sciences have become common knowledge in the contemporary world. Till a few centuries ago, not many were well versed in the understanding of phenomenons like electromagnetism and light. Now it is available in every eighth-grade textbook. Every human of this generation has the knowledge of fundamental sciences and the ability to utilize it to their advantage. Reinventing the wheel, therefore, would not serve any purpose but it doesn’t necessarily make the sciences redundant.

The real gain lies in understanding how to use these sciences. Sciences, unless specialized, are a given foundational for everyone. It is a classic case of when everyone’s a superhero, no one will be. It is just a matter of not how but how many and how much can we impact people. This is where technology comes in.

The power of technology

Technology has decentralized the power to reach and impact people. A million views on a certain video on popular video streaming websites show the power that exists in a common man’s hands to influence humanity. One of the biggest giants in the world started in a garage somewhere. It became possible because the technology of today enables a person to reach millions from a garage. Common technology is a great power indeed.

With great power comes great responsibility. Responsible usage of this power can lead to wonders of pushing humanity forth while mishandling the same can pull it back to the darkest eras of its existence. Many such wonders already exist which we take for granted such as the ability to connect people worldwide in the form of the Internet. Some are solving the biggest challenges in the world such as the NGO Thorn which is utilizing deep learning techniques to fight against child trafficking. The dark side has its fair share too with cases like the Blue Whale Challenge. It is only possible today that a person with minimal technical knowledge can make a video with anyone’s face in it, referred commonly as Deepfakes. Such is the might of these tools. It has therefore become imperative in this time to understand the intricacies of the technology everyone holds in their hands.

The role of technology education

Technological Education will shape the future of these hands forge. Tech Education, unlike widespread cognizance, is not just an understanding of how to create technological innovations. It is centered around learning the ability to comprehend the consequences of such innovations and to handle the responsibility that comes with them. It is essentially a foundation of how to steer through this new world where technology has become omnipresent.

I am an entrepreneur, a music composer, and an Artificial Intelligence researcher. Surprisingly, being a founder of a digital wellbeing startup called Apprison made me realize tech education plays a bigger role in understanding how the users will think about any technological product than in building the technology itself. Today most domains have tools that have majorly abstracted the intricate details of the basic elements of the domain, enabling even a layman to build and utilize technology in the domain. For Artificial Intelligence it would be a programming language like Python or R, for musicians an industry-standard software like Ableton and for game developers, game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine. What makes one different in the world today is what they can do with these tools. A confidence to delve into any field of interest and pick up its tools and create useful outcomes with them has become a necessary requirement for any path of life and is the biggest addition of tech education.

Tech Education is everywhere and so are its applications. Technology is showing us solutions to the problems of the coming future. From scientific advancements such as Quantum Teleportation to Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, all are finding refuge in the offerings of technological innovations.

TLP Team

TLP Team