Education Is Collapsing And It’s Just A Matter Of Time For AI To Take Over

It was just Thursday morning when I posted an image of a book which I recently bought and was reading and a friend reached out to me with the desire that we go on a monthly reading spree. I was glad and accepted so I sent him an image showing a list of books which I saw on Twitter some time ago so we could choose one from each group to read every month. The following day he responded with a suggestion and I seconded to it.

On Saturday I kicked my bike and waited for the fumes to calm down as I rode to the market to find the book in which he suggested from local bookstores so I could prepare for the coming month. My house is not far from the market so it took me just a couple of minutes before I got there. I knew a popular bookstore which was always loaded with books and computer accessories so I headed there first so I could save time. To my surprise, the once-popular bookstore became nothing but a shadow of itself. I rode my bike to a column where I knew there were series of bookstores. The lady attendants there were eager to lure me to their shops but I silently echoed in my mind, “don’t worry, it’ll get to your turn”. One after the other, I asked in each bookstore, “do you have Crucial Conversations?” That was the title of the book I was looking for. None had. In fact, some never possessed any novel, inspirational, motivational or business books. Just primary and secondary school textbooks and exercise books.

I crossed by to the other side of the road where I knew there were bookstores, on reaching there, two out of the three were closed and the shops in which they previously existed were used for selling mobile phones. The remaining one also didn’t have ‘classical books’, just exercise books and writing materials.

What is happening?, I asked myself.

Stores that I admired its array of books, the colorful row of shelves I thought one day would find solace in were now just a mirage of what we then knew as bookstores.

Is this the new order? Or are they just adjusting to market demands? Either way, countless of thoughts ran through my head on why any of the options you decide to go with, it all leads to one thing.

People are no longer interested in knowledge.

They feel education is just a waste of time. The school system is locked in an age long backward system and they are not ready to change. Most young people are no longer interested in going to school, some go to school but they say it’s just for the certificate; They just want to have it in case. Education is now a fallback plan for many in our society. Young people are now more glued to their phones and on social media now than ever before.

Technology has taken the front row in all aspects of life including the education system that people now see reading books on their devices as an alleged ‘better option’. Some do not have the funds to purchase the print version of the book so resolve to soft copies. But true book readers know and usually prefer the print version of books as it’s more conducive to read, stay more focused and disciplined to finish the book than when reading on mobile devices. The moment you open a mobile phone, notifications and several other distractions stray around and sometimes you even forget your initial intention for picking the phone in the first place.

Recently I was discussing on different occasions with some of the kids of my neighbors who just got admission into the university. One told me, “left on me, I wouldn’t have gone to university but I know it’s important”, I’m not a school type”, another said and yet another told me, “she wants to become a flight attendant”; Great, I told her, but does she feel that’s going to be the best version of herself?

It’s of no doubt that education is road to success and prosperity but the youth of nowadays are no longer interested in education. Some prefer to venture into careers like music, sports and general merchandise in which no one asks for your educational qualification.

I guess the reason behind the bookstores becoming empty. People no longer want to learn again. As a result, they no longer want to read the books in which these knowledge are hidden. The gap between readers and educated people is widening. It’s just a matter of time that society will become bankrupt of knowledge and be so dependent on computers as AI is taking over. On Monday, OpenAI released its multimodal model, GPT-4o which took the world by storm and this is just the beginning.

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