SingularityNET Partners With UNESCO to Help Prepare the Youth for the Future.

We’re joining forces with UNESCO to teach children about technologies that will shape the coming decades.

Roughly four decades ago, the first steps to create the “network of networks” were a reality — leading us to the World Wide Web of today. About a decade ago, the first iPhone was released. 6 years ago, the first license for self-driving cars was issued to Toyota. Today, we are decentralizing the world. Whether we like it or not, the rate of technological progress is increasing. Intelligent robots, self-driving cars, genetic editing, neuro-technological brain enhancements — the future is racing toward us. We believe the most important priority of a society should be that its youth is adequately prepared to interact with the technologies that will shape the coming decades. As Steve Ballmer would say: “Developers, developers, developers, developers!”

Many educational institutes around the world are out of sync with the exponential technological changes that are about to occur. Unless these institutions change their syllabus to impart more up to date knowledge and skills, the graduates of these institutions will not have the talent that will be in demand in the future. Technology will not leave any industry untouched. It doesn’t matter if you want to become a lawyer or a teacher. Technology will play a major role in your life, and we should be teaching the Language of Technology to as many people as possible.

Defeat Digital Colonialism, Build Digital Literacy

Today, we’re very proud to announce that SingularityNET is partnering with UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE). The UNESCO bureau’s initiative is part of the fourth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, promoting lifelong learning opportunities and ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education. As a partner, we will work with the IBE to develop a new form of curriculum spanning the years from kindergarten to 12th grade, aimed at preparing the youth for the coming fourth industrial revolution.

We believe that it is critical that the talent required to shape and evolve a powerful technology such as artificial intelligence is not produced by a select few institutions of the most advanced nation states. According to Dr. Ben Goertzel, the CEO of SingularityNET, there is a real danger of Digital Colonialism if steps are not taken to train the youth of today the skills that will be in demand in the future. Digital Literacy — the ability to use one’s technical, cognitive, social, civic and creative skills to interact with digital tools — will empower us all.

“We are teaching A.I. to see the world from only one perspective,” says Dr. Ben Goertzel, “Imagine the biases algorithms like Google’s will display when they are tasked with recognizing people and objects from non-Western countries that have entirely different cultural norms and languages.”

Many figures in A.I. warn that developers need to consider these issues sooner rather than later. The IEEE Standards Association has drafted a set of ethics guidelines so designers can consider unintended consequences of their creations ahead of time, avoiding biases like the racist beauty pageant system. A Princeton University study last year also found text analysis machines inheriting human biases.

One of our key goals is to make A.I. development more of a broad, participatory pursuit, to ensure that A.I. algorithms and services are created and contributed by a very wide variety of people, with different backgrounds and knowledge and interests. Putting A.I., blockchain and allied technologies like robotics and biotech in the school curriculum can help toward this goal in a very dramatic way.”
Dr. Ben Goertzel

The curriculum that is being planned will cover an extensive array of subjects, such as robotics, natural language A.I., machine learning to analyze data, blockchain experiments, 3D printing, wearables, smartphone-based bioimaging and many more. The curriculum will first be introduced in six countries and will have the ultimate goal of ensuring that A.I. and other powerful technologies are not dominated by a tiny group of privileged people, but to make them accessible for all.

Dr. Ben Goertzel is working on the project with the International Bureau of Education director Mmantsetsa Marop and Betelhem Dessie, from SingularityNET’s partner iCog Labs.

Currently, Betelhem Dessie serves as project manager of the iCog Anyone Can Code initiative — a precursor to the UNESCO project. “IBE-UNESCO and SingularityNET have embarked on this joint initiative to support the next generation of technologists across the world. The proposal also seeks to advance gender equality in opportunities to specialize in STEM-based professions,” says Betelhem Dessie.

Next Steps

SingularityNET plans to keep on striving toward a future where access to AI algorithms is democratized and where the A.I. algorithms and services are created and contributed by a very wide variety of people.

The best way forward is to come together and work practically towards creating a better future. We hope you will join us in our mission to democratize AI and to use its transformative powers to enact real, positive and lasting change. SingularityNET has a passionate and talented community which you can connect with by visiting our Community Forum. Feel free to say hello and to introduce yourself here. We are proud of our developers and researchers that are actively publishing their research for the benefit of the community; you can read the research here.

For any additional information, please refer to our roadmaps and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed about all of our developments.